Now that Fall is here, the season for warm, indulgent foods is upon us. I mean, I want those foods year-round, but doesn’t it feel more acceptable once the temp starts to drop?
I love a good cheesy alfredo, but I don’t love the heavy, bloated feeling I get after I eat such a dish. So yesterday I threw this together as a lighter, healthier yet equally delicious alternative!
As I’ve been experimenting more in the kitchen and, in turn, learning more, I’ve grown to love foods that a year or two ago I never would have touched! This has given me so much more confidence in the kitchen and has allowed me to come up with my own recipes. Amidst a lot of failures there’s bound to be a few successes, and this spinach & mushroom alfredo is one of them!
This healthy yet indulgent dish does not contain any dairy which often sits so heavy in the tummy. The spinach and mushrooms give this dish its creamy texture, AND they’re packed with nutritional value! While spinach is high in iron and beneficial vitamins, mushrooms are high in protein and selenium, an essential nutrient found most often in animal-proteins, so that makes mushrooms ideal for vegetarians or for those who are vegan. Selenium strengthens bone, hair, nails and teeth and it’s antioxidant properties strengthen the immune system* (which is important around flu season)!
This alfredo also contains nutritional yeast, which, as you may be able to tell from it’s name, has a high nutritional value. In addition to also containing selenium, nutritional yeast, or nooch, is full of essential B vitamins, folic acid, zinc and protein.** This is all well and good, but I love this stuff because it gives everything a rich, cheesy, savory flavor and it just enhances whatever you put it in. You can find it at your local health food store.
If the nutritional value of this dish doesn’t hook you, it’s flavor will! You won’t even miss the heavy cream or cheese- I promise! I can’t say enough good things about this dish; try it for yourself and taste exactly what I’m talking about!
Spinach & Mushroom Alfredo
- 3 oz (dry) pasta of choice
- 4 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp garlic, minced (about 1 large clove)
- 1/2 cup mushrooms
- 4 cups baby spinach
- salt & pepper
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/4 tsp dried basil
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- dried parsley, for garnish (optional)
- scallions, for garnish (optional)
- Start by cooking your pasta (don’t forget to salt the water!). Cook the pasta until it’s about 3/4 of the way done; for example, if the instructions say to cook for 11 minutes, only cook it for 8 minutes. When it’s done, DO NOT drain the pasta because we will be using the pasta water!
- While the pasta is cooking, start the sauce by adding the olive oil and garlic to a large pan on medium heat. Sauté until fragrant, about 3-5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and spinach and sauté until the spinach is completely wilted, about 5 minutes. Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper and give the mixture a final stir.
- Pour the spinach mixture into a blender and add the nutritional yeast and about 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Blend until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Pour your spinach alfredo sauce back into the pan and bring to a light simmer. Add the partially cooked pasta to the sauce and add about 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water. Let the sauce and pasta simmer and continue to add more reserved pasta water, if needed, until the pasta is cooked to your liking and the sauce has reached desired consistency.
- When pasta is done, add basil and oregano and stir to combine. If desired, before serving sprinkle with parsley and add scallions.
Thanks for reading! If you make this recipe, tag me on Instagram or Twitter @kelseyathome. Until next time! Xx
Love & light,