I almost forgot to share all of the deliciousness that happened at the last Healthy Cravings.
I admit that I was a little nervous, I didn’t know if everyone would like their favorite Italian comfort foods adapted into healthy plant-based versions. I didn’t want to create recipes that were merely “less toxic” than the originals, I wanted them to be truly nourishing. I’ve shared most of the recipes previously and I have a few more I’ll share in the coming weeks.
I want to mention that almost everything was gluten-free. I have several gluten-free ladies who typically attend but if gluten isn’t an issue for you whole grain noodles could easily be substituted. Also I forgot to take pictures of everything before we ate but I got a few leftover shots.
We started the evening with Bruschetta. Half was served on toasted French Baguette and the other half on gluten-free crackers.
Next was soup and salad. This is my new favorite salad by the way! I used a variety of lettuces and greens, pepperoncini’s , olives, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, and red onion. I don’t even need a dressing with this, but I served a homemade oil-free dressing that everyone loved. Can you believe I can’t find the recipe? It’s true, I remember what’s in it but not the amounts so I’ll make it again today and post it soon.
I served Minestrone Soup that was glorious, it may have been the favorite of the evening. I’ve always gotten good reviews from it. I bought new Italian seasoning and I have to say it has a bit more “kick” than my previous seasoning. I may have used less had I known it’s potency.
Everyone LOVED the Lasagna! One friend wasn’t able to attend that night but has since made it for her family and they really enjoyed it. Initially she was skeptical and is a self-proclaimed snob when it comes to Italian food but she was pleasantly surprised and plans to add it to her meal rotation.
This isn’t your typical Mac & Faux Cheese. Yes it is still carbalicious but I’m not afraid of carbs. It has potatoes and cauliflower that add veggies and creaminess without the dairy or oil you would typically get in Mac & Cheese. I added a little too much potato the night of Healthy Cravings and it really muted the cheesiness of the nutritional yeast, I should have added more but I didn’t. The reviewers didn’t love this dish as much as the lasagna. My 2 year old couldn’t get enough. Most of the attenders are still eating dairy and haven’t completely transitioned to a plant-based diet. As I warn in the recipe this is better for dairy-free people. If you are used to eating dairy or boxed Mac & Cheese this will not tantalize your taste buds the same way. If you are plant-based I think you will like it, feel free to dress it up or add other vegetables.
We also had Happy Herbivore’s Fettuccine Alfredo. I have made this numerous times and it has always been fantastic. Until the night of Healthy Cravings. I couldn’t find the kind of tofu I normally use so I tried a different brand and it was a bust. I’m sure it scared everyone away from vegan alfredo. We don’t normally use tofu or soy, maybe a few times a year but this alfredo is (usually) worth it. Maybe that is a good lesson, you can’t let one bad experience scare you away from something.
We finished off the evening by enjoying coffee and dessert. I have to thank my Dad for giving me a Keurig for Christmas, everyone loved the coffee, especially trying the So Delicious Coconut Milk Creamer in original and French Vanilla. They also loved the gluten-free Biscotti I made. It wasn’t as crisp as traditional biscotti but the flavor was great. I plan to give it another go and share the recipe soon.
Now you can imagine you were here with us! Next months food theme is Breakfast! I’ll also pay a little more attention to breakfast on the blog for the month of March.