Remember how I said I bought a ton of roastable veggies–and then realized that I’d actually have to roast them?  One of the veggies I had on hand was a fairly large head of cauliflower.  A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, I used to be a bit more bike punkish than I am now and I’d travel all over for alley cats (illegal drunken fixed gear bicycle races through the streets of NYC or Philly–that kind of bike punkness).  Part of that fixation (pun intended) was browsing through city-specific message boards.  NYC FixedGear was (and still is) one of my faves, if only for the variety and hilariousness of posts.  One of the longer ones is vegan food, and someone threw out the idea of fettucine alfredo a la cauliflower.  Being too lazy to sift through pages and pages of posts on the message board, I vaguely remembered Susan posting a no-fredo recipe and crossed my fingers in hope that it involved cauliflower.  Badabing, it did!

Although I trust Susan’s recipes and I think they’re the bomb, I don’t think I would have believed in it if it weren’t for the bike connection.  The bike community, as a whole, tends to be very pro-vegan or anti-vegan (baconites) and to see vegan and non-vegan bike kids (if you can call 30-something-year-olds “kids”) agreeing on the awesomeness of no-fredo via cauliflower convinced me of its power.  That and the relative ease of boiling cauliflower versus roasting it.  The end result was amazing–the poet says it tastes like real alfredo!  It’s not quite as creamy as I remember alfredo being, but it is pretty darn good.  Due to the size of my cauliflower, I’ve frozen a container of the no-fredo and I’ll pull it out again in a week or two and finish it off.

Fettuccine No-Fredo a la Susan V

1 head cauliflower, chopped into small pieces
4 cups water
4-6 cloves garlic
1-2 tsp. basil
1/2-2 tsp. oregano
pinch cayenne pepper
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper
pinch nutmeg
1 1/2 tbsp. nutritional yeast

3 cloves garlic, diced
5 kale leaves, de-ribbed and chopped into smaller pieces
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 cup mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

1 lb fettuccine

Using the lesser amounts of each seasoning, place all the sauce ingredients except nutritional yeast into a large saucepan and cook, covered, until the cauliflower is very soft, about 15 minutes. When it’s completely tender, use a blender/food processor to puree the cauliflower to a smooth sauce.

Check the seasoning of the sauce, and add more to taste; add the nutritional yeast. Allow the sauce to simmer and thicken while you prepare the mushrooms and pasta.

Bring a pot of water to boil and cook the pasta until done.

Sauté the kale, carrots, mushrooms, and garlic in olive oil until tender.  I steamed the vegetables for a few minutes after I sautéed them in order to get the kale tender.  When finished cooking, set aside.

Combine the pasta, vegetables, and some sauce together in a suace pan and cook for 1-3 minutes until the vegetables and pasta are well coated.  Serve!

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