Where I’ve been, plus Macaroni & Sautéed Mushrooms with “Cream” Sauce

Where I’ve been, plus Macaroni & Sautéed Mushrooms with “Cream” Sauce

I can’t believe more than a year has passed since my last post. Time flies when you are “creative”, or “easily distracted”, have 4 kids ranging in age from teens to preschoolers, or seem to have the bad habit of putting too many logs on the fire.
2016 was quite the adventure…
*moved – always a joy!
*completed a Professional Plant-Based cooking course with Rouxbe cooking school.
*started a regular yoga practice.
*got the first story in my picture book series illustrated.

So here we are 7 months into 2017.
I’ve been trying to be more balanced this year and not take on too many “projects” and focus more on feeding the fire I already have going.

One of the huge logs on my fire is my picture book – Firehouse 1!
Firehouse 1 is a great way to help children become more familiar with firefighters and their gear, so in the event of a real life fire situation children won’t be frightened or intimidated by the firefighters sent in to rescue them.
The book features a diverse cast, and breaks gender stereotypes by empowering girls and engaging boys with strong female characters. It’s geared towards children ages 2 to 6.

Cover new
Check out the link here to explore and purchase my book:

On another note, I have seriously been enjoying this summer. Not the heat mind you, just the freedom of more time and the beach. I’ve also been feeding my soul with good reading, and this weekend I had the pleasure of taking an incredible seminar at my yoga studio on Ayurveda. Ayurveda is a powerful mind-body health system originating in India that is thousands of years old. Growing up having a mom from India, Yoga and Ayurveda were just commonplace in our household. I never really appreciated, or gave either much thought until the past few years. The seminar was given by Merissa of Blissful Balance Ayurveda (check out her site below). She was very knowledgeable and made exploring the subject fun and exciting.


Definitely a subject I want to explore more. If you want to have some fun and learn more about Ayurveda, check out this site:

A few of you have asked for the recipe for this dish I posted via Instagram. It’s base is this wonderful “white sauce” I learned from Rouxbe. You will need to use a high speed blender like a Vitamix to prepare this. The sauce is also fantastic over grilled, steamed, sautéed or roasted veggies. Sometimes I use “eggless” noodles and do a stroganoff vibe for this dish, or macaroni is always fun. Either way it’s a crowd pleaser. Best served immediately, it thickens as it sits.

Macaroni & Sautéed Mushrooms with “Cream” Sauce

For the white sauce:

2 cups raw cashews
4 to 6 cups warm water

In a medium bowl, soak the cashews in water for 3 to 4 hours to soften. Strain, reserving the cashews and discarding the liquid. Rinse with fresh water, strain. Set aside.

Preparing the sauce:

1 cup onion, diced
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups vegetable stock
2 1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp onion granules
generous pinch of garlic powder
pinch of nutmeg (freshly grated is best)
pinch of white pepper
1 tsp sea salt (optional)

Heat a pan on low to medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the onions and sweat for at least 5-8 minutes, stirring frequently, to bring out the flavor until translucent. Next add the garlic and sweat for an additional couple of minutes.

Transfer the cooked onions and garlic into the blender.

To finish the sauce, add the cashews, the vegetable stock, garlic, nutritional yeast, onion granules, garlic powder, nutmeg, white pepper and salt (if using). Blend on high speed until smooth. Add more vegetable broth if you want to have a thinner consistency.

Finish the dish:

olive oil or Earth Balance/vegan butter – just enough to sautée the mushrooms
1 to 1 1/2 10 oz packages fresh mushrooms, diced
Several generous shakes of garlic powder and onion granules
1lb of macaroni
1 tbsp of sea salt to season pasta water

Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the oil, or vegan butter.
Add the mushrooms, garlic powder, and onion granules. Sautée stirring frequently, until mushrooms are golden brown.
Remove from heat and set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season with at least one tablespoon of salt. Add pasta. Cook according to package directions. Strain. Add a dollop of Earth Balance or vegan butter to the pot. Return strained pasta to pot and stir until coated with “butter”.
Add mushrooms, stir. Add sauce. Stir until pasta is coated with sauce. Serve immediately.

Have a great rest of your week!

Peas & Love

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