It’s funny but even though Bigg Sis and I live 700 miles apart, we seem to crave and cook the same things at the same time. Last week she dazzled with her Vegan Bechamel. While she was eating that, we were chowing down on some Vegan Alfredo Orzo. No phone calls, no “tomorrow is vegan cream sauce day,” no matching outfits, just nature or nurture, or both. Weird.
So what’s great about an easy vegan alfredo sauce? Really? Do I have to answer that? For me last week, easy vegan alfredo sauce was a total lifesaver. The kids are out of school and the first week of that adjustment was really fun.. some of the time. Some of the rest of the time it was challenging and fitting in my paid gig was tricky. Fast dinners needed. Mr. Little Sis just happened to pick up some whole wheat orzo on a recent trip to the store. He was remembering a dish we used to make pretty regularly, a fantastically simple dish featuring orzo, veggies, and LOTS of parmesan. It really is a super dish, but the parm is not on the list for me at the moment – so how to satisfy the very sweet request made by Mr. Little Sis without ruining my next day? I turned to a proven strategy: distract him with “cream” sauce. A quick dig in the pantry and my mind was made up. No soy, no cashews, don’t feel like walnuts… pine nuts I am yours!
Nofredo Orzo with Chickpeas, Peas, and Kale
- 1 lb whole wheat orzo (unless you want to healthier and use a grain, we needed pasta)
- 1 c chickpeas
- 1 c peas (I used warmed frozen)
- chopped fresh basil
- 1 c pine nuts
- 2 T olive oil
- 2 T nutritional yeast flakes (opt.)
- 1 T white wine vinegar
- 1/4 c water
- 1 t salt
- 1 c steamed cauliflower pieces
- fresh ground pepper
Alright, this is so easy it almost feels silly to write it up – but that’s the great thing, isn’t it? Who can’t use another super easy healthy dinner in the files? I know I always have room for one more – so here goes. Put the water on to boil. Put 7 ingredients – pine nuts through cauliflower into a food processor and process until smooth. Add pepper to taste. When pasta is done, add chickpeas and peas to the pasta and then add the amount of nofredo your tribe will go for. I used about half of the sauce to make the dish and then brought the rest to the table so we could add to individual servings as desired. There was a lot of adding going on. We served our orzo on beds of chopped fresh kale and added some chopped basil to the individual plates. Just stunning and so, so very fast. Delish.