For most people, the word “Alfredo” conjures thoughts of a delicious, creamy cheese sauce that pairs perfectly with fettuccine. However, New York Times bestselling cookbook author Carleigh Bodrug is turning Alfredo on its head with a vegan, veggie-packed alternative.
“You won’t believe this garlic Alfredo has five hidden vegetables!” she says in a video on her Instagram page, @plantyou. In her post, which has more than 120,000 likes, Bodrug sneaks cauliflower, potato, parsnip, onion, and garlic into her homemade Alfredo sauce.
“So not only is this sauce packed with nutrients, it’s also vegan- and allergy-friendly,” she says.
Just place the chopped vegetables on a sheet pan, season them with oil and spices, and then roast for 40 minutes. Then, combine everything in a blender, adding plant milk, nutritional yeast, sunflower seeds, lemon juice, and roasted garlic before mixing.
The Instagram community was intrigued by the recipe, with one person commenting, “Parsnip? I like that you’re introducing me to veggies I didn’t know about.”
Many others ask about possible ingredient substitutions, with one wondering if broccoli could be used in lieu of cauliflower. “You could but the sauce will have a green tinge,” Bodrug replies and also says that cashews are a totally cool substitution, too.
Others offered various criticisms. One complains that potatoes are not technically a vegetable while others commented that the recipe is not truly allergy-free for all people. There was even a lesson about what makes an Alfredo an Alfredo.
“Because it’s white doesn’t make it Alfredo…” one person says. “Alfredo is cheese and butter. And non(e) of that is in it. So it’s not an Alfredo it’s just a veggie Sauce.”
Despite the minor complaints, alternative vegan takes on recipes like Alfredo, which generally contains butter and Parmesan cheese, are a win for the environment. Animal agriculture has devastating impacts on the planet, and integrating even a few vegan recipes into your diet can make an impact.
Adding more veggies to your meal plan is also a great way to get healthy — plant-rich diets boast a plethora of advantages like lowering blood pressure, reducing heart disease risk, and preventing some types of cancer.