Pasta and Meatballs with Creamy Cashew Sauce
I am of the belief that a healthy lifestyle does not mean that you can't still have comfort food.
One of my favorite comfort foods as a kid was Broccoli Chicken Casserole. You know the one I'm talking about, right? It was white rice covered in cream of mushroom soup... and chicken.. and broccoli... and so much cheese.
Well, this dish really isn't anything like that dish, other than the broccoli, and the most important part, the yummy comfort-food taste. I rarely eat dairy products these days other than Greek yogurt, and I prefer our grains to pack a little more nutritional punch than white rice and pasta.
The past few weeks in Seattle have been EXCEPTIONALLY cold. I mean snow boots everyday kind of cold. There's something about sitting down with a big creamy bowl of pasta that just warms you up from the inside out. I have yet to find a person who does not love this recipe. My family also has no idea that I swapped Alfredo sauce for cashew cream sauce.
If there are recipes that your family loves, don't be afraid to make a swap to add a little more nourishment. Swap regular pasta for protein pasta. Swap regular cheese for dairy-free. Add extra veggies to your sautés and baked dishes. Little swaps can make big difference, and you might be surprised at how your family responds!
Basic Turkey Meatballs
This is the base recipe for any variation of meatballs that I make on a regular basis
- 1lb ground turkey
- 1/4 sweet onion, diced
- 1/2c oat flour
- 1 egg
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- Pinch Himalayan pink sea salt
- Pinch black pepper
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside. Preheat oven to 350
- Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, by hand
- Form mixture into 1" balls, and place evenly spaced on the lined baking sheet
- Bake meatballs for 20 minutes
- Serve immediately, OR, let cool, and then transfer to a glass bowl or container for storage in the refrigerator. These will keep for 2-3 days.
Makes 12 meatballs
** I make meatballs at least 2x a month during meal prep Sunday, and then add them to dishes during the week.**
Cashew Cream Sauce
The perfect alternative to Alfredo sauce
- 2C cashews
- filtered water (for soaking)
- 1 to 1-1/2 C vegetable broth
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1tsp garlic powder or 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4tsp nutmeg
- Place cashews in a bowl (I put them in my pyrex glass measuring up) and cover completely with cold filtered water. Let sit for 1-2 hours.
- Drain and rinse the cashews, and put them into your food processor. Add 1c of broth and all seasonings.
- Puree until the sauce is creamy and smooth.
- Add remaining broth 1/4c at a time until your sauce is at the desired consistency.
Keeps for 3 days, covered, and refrigerated. Makes ~2C depending on consistency.
Put those hands together!
Now comes the fun part- this is a QUICK weeknight dinner when both of these recipes are made during Meal Prep Sunday! If you're new to Meal Prepping, I've got a post on that, too. 😉
Dinner in 20 minutes!
- 4 servings of Eat Banza pasta
- 12 meatballs
- 2c cashew cream sauce
- Almond Cheese for topping (available at Trader Joe's or Whole Foods)
- Preheat your oven to 350
- Over low heat, in an oven safe dish (I use a Le Creuset oval dutch oven) warm the cashew sauce and meatballs.
- While the sauce is warming, cook the pasta according to the package directions
- Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and add the pasta to the sauce and meatballs.
- Mix gently to ensure the sauce completely coats the pasta
- Sprinkle almond cheese on top
- Bake uncovered for 10 minutes
- Turn the oven to broil for 2-3 minutes, just until the cheese is browned
Serve immediately, preferably with the Blasted Broccoli on the recipe page!! I'd have more beautiful photos, but my family ate it too fast. I guess I'll just have to make it again for the photo op!!
Hope you enjoy this as much as we do!