Creamy Cashew Miso Pasta Sauce


Makes 3 large servings.

For the sauce:
3/4 cup soaked and rinsed raw cashews (soaked in water for 2+ hours or over night)
1/2 cup vegetable broth, or any other broth you have
1 tbsp miso paste (feel free to omit if you dislike miso or don't have any)
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2-3 + large fresh garlic cloves
2-3 tbsp nutritional yeast (adds a cheesy flavour and tons of B vitamins, however feel free to omit if you dislike or don't have any, but will be more of a white sauce without)
Optional: zest and juice of one small lemon (I highly recommend adding lemon if omitting miso as it gives it a kick of fresh flavour)

1. Spiralize zucchini and set aside. (For this amount of sauce I used two medium zucchinis)
2. Add soaked and drained cashews into a high speed blender or food processor with the broth and puree until smooth. 
3. Add in all remaining ingredients, blend until smooth again. Add additional broth, water or unsweetened non dairy milk to thin if necessary. 
4. Give your sauce a taste, adjust seasonings to your preference if needed. Set sauce aside for flavours to mingle while you prepare the mushrooms.

For the mushrooms:
2 cups thinly sliced mushrooms of choice, any will do here. I like a mix of portobello and brown button mushrooms. 
3 - 4 tbsp coconut or avocado oil
optional: 1 small onion finely diced
1 - 2 tbsp of fresh herbs finely chopped, Rosemary, Sage or Thyme or a Blend, (you can use 2 tsp dried herbs if you do not have fresh on hand)
sea salt and pepper to taste

1.Heat oil in a medium skillet over low - medium heat, add fresh herbs and sauté until fragrant 1-2 mins.
2. Add onions and mushrooms and sauté until fully cooked for another 5-7 minutes, season with salt and pepper to taste. 

To assemble:
1. Pour your sauce over raw spiralled zucchini noodles or another prepared pasta of choice if you prefer. 
2. Top with sautéed mushrooms and optional fresh baby arugula.

This cashew sauce can be enjoyed hot or cold.
To heat - warm it in a sauce pan but do not allow it to over cook or simmer. I enjoy it chilled on a hot day, but if I feel like a hot dish I tend to heat the sauce in a sauce pan and pour over cold raw noodles, or stir the noodles into the saucepan for the last 20 seconds to warm them but still keeping them raw and crunchy! 
You may also add a few handfuls of baby spinach or arugula to the sauce when heating it to wilt.

This is a light creamy pasta sauce with lots of healthy fat and fiber from the cashews. Includes a dose of antioxidant rich, immune boosting garlic. Adding nutritional yeast provides a complete profile of essential amino acids (essential meaning they cannot be made by the body and all 23 makes this a complete protein). Nutritional yeast is also packed with vitamin B12, which is essential for a balanced mood and energy production, the vitamin often deficient in vegans and vegetarians. Adding mushrooms provides a boost of vitamin D, which we are deficient of in the winter months as we do not get much sunshine. Vitamin D is not common in foods and is also essential for a balanced mood. Using zucchini as noodles reduces bloat and carb over loading from heavily refined, hard to digest simple carbohydrates in pasta that spike our blood sugar and then cause a crash. Zucchini also adds a nice crunch and a punch of vitamin A and minerals, adds more fiber and water, which may also aid in weight loss compared to high calorie pastas. 
You can basically call this dish a cocktail to combat depression and feel good in your belly on your tongue and in your soul!