My Creamy Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo with veggie noodles is a healthier spin on a traditional Alfredo recipe. It has a tasty, thick and creamy dairy-free sauce. It's the perfect comfort food. You can use orange sweet potato or purple-skin sweet potato with white flesh for the veggie noodles, or zucchini but my favourite is making the noodles from parsnip.
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Soak the cashews in a bowl of filtered water for one hour then drain and rinse well.
Spiralize your choice of vegetable to make the noodles and set aside (use a spiral slicer or julienne slicer to make your noodles).
Heat a large frypan on medium heat. Add 2 teaspoons of ghee and half the diced onion and cook for 3 minutes to soften but not brown, add 2 teaspoons of garlic and cook for a further 30 seconds.
Transfer the onion and garlic to a high-speed blender, then add the cashews, broth, coconut milk, nutritional yeast flakes, lime, salt and pepper. Blend on high for 30 seconds. Scrape down the lid and sides of the jug, then blend for a further 20 seconds or until the mixture is smooth with no bits of nuts present. Set aside (the sauce will thicken more once heated).
Heat the frypan on high and add one tablespoon of ghee. Cook the chicken for 3 - 4 minutes on each side or until cooked and lightly golden. Push the chicken to one side of the pan. Add a little more ghee and the remaining onion, cook for 2 minutes then add the remaining garlic. Stir the chicken through the onion mixture and sprinkle over the Italian herbs/seasoning.
Add the broccoli to the pan and toss it through the chicken mixture to cook lightly, it should keep its bright green colour. Reduce the heat and pour the alfredo sauce over the chicken and broccoli. Stir often while the sauce heats but don't simmer for long as the sauce will thicken quite quickly (just add a little broth or water to the pan if it thickens too much).
In a separate large frying pan on high heat, add a tablespoon of ghee. Break up any extra-long noodles to make them easier to eat. Add the sweet potato or parsnip in batches. Cook, tossing to just soften the noodles for 2 - 3 minutes, you want them al dente. If you use zucchini, squeeze out the excess liquid before giving a quick toss in the pan to heat through.
To serve, divide the veggie noodles between plates or bowls and spoon over the Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo, sprinkle a little parsley on top.
Cashews work well in a paleo lifestyle, as they are so versatile. They can be used to make dairy free milk, cashew butter, cashew cream or sour cream, dips and many more. Where possible, it is best to soak nuts before using to assist with digestion. Eat them raw but in moderation as they are quite high in omega 6. Stay away from store bought roasted nuts that have been cooked in canola, sunflower or similar vegetable oils.
Ghee is a lactose-free ancient superfood. It is made by slow cooking and clarifying butter to remove the milk solids and lactose, it's pure butter fat. You can get the flavour of butter in your cooking without the dairy (please don't consume if you have an allergy to ghee). My favourite brands are Organic Valley Purity Farms or Puresoul grass-fed. It is also very easy to make yourself. Ghee has a high smoke point 485F/250C.
In my recipes when listing onion I am referring to a brown (also called yellow) onion. Onions are members of the allium plant family which also includes garlic, leeks, spring onions and shallots. Onions are valued more for the flavour they impart in cooking than for their nutritional content. Onions are know for their antibacterial effect helping to prevent superficial infections and their sulfur compounds may block carcinogens.
Garlic is a close relative to the onion and has been used throughout history for both medicinal and culinary purposes. In most of my recipes I use minced garlic as I find it distributes better throughout the dish. When in a hurry I use organic minced garlic which I purchase in glass jars and store in the fridge. When garlic powder is needed for a particular recipe, I use 'Simply Organic' brand. Why is garlic so good for us? It is an immune booster, antibiotic, good for the heart, cancer fighter and it's also knew as a weight loss aid (appetite suppressant).
Making homemade chicken broth is a great way to heal Leaky Gut and excellent to drink when unwell. Traditionally broth was made just from bones and simmered for hours to remove the gelatin, marrow and goodness from them. These days vegetables are also added to give extra flavour. By using a slow cooker, making your own broth/stock is so easy. As soon as a roast chicken is eaten, all the bones go into the freezer ready for the next batch of broth. If purchasing store-bought stocks, read the labels as many companies have changed the name of MSG to yeast extract. Organic or free-range brands are available. My Chicken broth recipe is on page 295 of The JOYful Table cookbook. Freeze ice block trays filled with chicken broth for when a small amount is required for a recipe. You can also use an organic concentrated bone broth paste or dehydrated chicken bone broth powder and add them to filtered water.
I use this extensively throughout my recipes; from soups to dinners to desserts and cakes. I think it is the best dairy-free alternative. It gives so much flavour and creaminess to a wide variety of dishes. See coconut milk recipe on page 299 of The JOYful Table cookbook. If purchasing in the can read your labels, even some organic brands contain gums and thickeners, choose full-fat not low-fat versions. I use Honest To Goodness organic cream 400ml and Ayam which isn't organic but has no additives or thickeners and is much creamier and thicker than other brands (that's why I love it), it comes in 400ml, 270ml and 140ml size cans.
Also know as Savoury Yeast Flakes. It’s a fermented and deactivated yeast, which means it isn’t going to grow (and has nothing to do with brewer’s yeast or bakers’ yeast). It has a creamy cheesy flavour and I’ve used it in a few recipes to create a cheese flavour. Vegans use it as a condiment and a cheese substitute, and to also add additional protein and vitamins to their diet (it’s a complete protein). Nutritional yeast flakes are free from sugar, dairy, grains and gluten. Do not confuse it with yeast extract (MSG). Purchase from health food stores or in the health food aisle of supermarkets.
A lime is a green citrus fruit. There are several species of the lime tree. They are an excellent source of vitamin C and calcium and are used to add flavour to foods and beverages.
Organic unbleached, unrefined organic Celtic sea salt or pink Himalayan salt is my salt of choice as these contain healthy minerals and trace elements that our body needs. Regular table salt has been bleached, refined and processed leaving minimal health benefits. If you choose to use regular table salt in my recipes you will need to reduce the quantity or the end result will be to salty.
Black and white pepper both come from the fruit of a tropical vine. Black pepper is the cooked and dried unripe fruit, know as a peppercorn and white pepper is from the ripe fruit seed. Pepper is usually coupled with salt, sprinkled over or added to food.
Choose grass-fed, free-range chicken breast and organic if available. Chicken is a meat that gets injected with hormones to plumb it up, shop carefully. A good source of protein.
Italian herbs is a blend of dried oregano, marjoram, thyme, basil, rosemary and sage. A classic combination of lovely fresh herbs that you will find in many Mediterranean dishes. Mix into a tomato paste or puree to make a flavourful pizza sauce or add to roast chicken or fish. I use the brand 'Simply Organic' which I purchase online from iherb.
Broccoli is an edible green plant with a flower head, which resembles cauliflower and belongs to the cabbage family. This vegetable is an excellent source of vitamins C and K, a good source of beta carotene, folate and vitamin E. It has significant amounts of iron, potassium and rich in glucosinolates, effective natural cancer fighters.
Sweet potatoes are a nutrient-dense root vegetable, naturally sweet and high in fibre. They are a rich source of beta carotene (vitamin A), on average one medium sweet potato provides more than 100% of the Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI) for vitamin C. Also high in vitamin E and potassium. Store in a cool place but not in the fridge.
Parsley would be the most widely used herb worldwide. The two main varieties of this herb are curly parsley with ruffled leaves and Italian parsley with flat leaves. In general flat-leaf parsley has a more robust flavour than the curly leave parsley. Its fresh green flavour and colour can be much more than just a garnish. Both kinds of parsley may be used in cooking. Fresh parsley contains useful amounts of vitamin C, calcium, iron and potassium. Parsley is also high in bioflavonoids and other anticancer compounds.