If you love nuggets and cheese, then you definitely need to try this recipe: Cheesy Spinach Pasta & Mushroom Nuggets! Instead of meat I use mushrooms for the nuggets, for the cheesy taste of the pasta sauce provides the Nutritional yeast.
Making a vegan cheese sauce is not hard at all. I decided to use a very simple version for this recipe: From cashew and Nutritional yeast.
First, soak the cashews for at least 15 minutes. However, it is best if they are soaked overnight. The softer the cashews are, the creamier the consistency of the sauce will be. The cashews are then mixed with the Nutritional Yeast and spices (salt, pepper, mustard) and water to make a creamy sauce.
Tip: If you want to get the typical color of a cheese sauce, add turmeric or mix some potato and carrot into the sauce. This way you get the typical yellow color of a cheese sauce.
I did without, because the color in this dish comes from the spinach. I loved the I combination of spinach and cheese before I went on a plant-based diet. With this cheese sauce I found a great vegan alternative.
Mushrooms as a meat alternative
Instead of meat, I use mushrooms for the nuggets. Mushrooms are a great alternative along with legumes. The texture of mushrooms is reminiscent of meat and with the right spices they taste just as hearty. Another delicious recipe using mushrooms as a meat alternative is my Pulled Mushroom Wrap. Be sure to give this recipe a try too!
The mushroom nuggets get super crispy with the freshly crumbled bread. I opted for crusty bread. It provides a coarser texture to the crumbs and I only have to bread the mushrooms once. If you use finer bread crumbs, then you may have to bread the mushrooms twice to get them completely covered.
With my Cheesy Spinach Pasta & Mushroom Nuggets, you have a great and most importantly healthier alternative to regular cheese sauce and greasy nuggets. My recipe contains healthy fats, protein and vitamins. Even if you don’t want to give up animal products completely, it’s worth considering trying the plant-based alternatives every once in a while. Your body and your health will thank you!
“Cheesy” Spinach Pasta & Mushroom NuggetsCourse: dinnerDifficulty: easy
200g Oyster Mushrooms
1/3 Cup Water
1/3 Cup Plant Milk
2-4 Slices of dry Bread
- “Cheesy” Sauce:
1 Cup soaked Cashews
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Ground Pepper
1 tsp Mustard
1/3 cup Nutritional Yeast
1/4 Cup Water
- Marinade for the Mushrooms:
1/2 Cup Flour
1/4 Cup Cornstarch
1 Tbsp. Paprika
1/3 Tsp. Ground Pepper
1/3 Tsp. Salt
1/4 Cup Water
- Wash the spinach. Mince the onion. Cook the pasta in salted water.
- Cheesy Sauce
- Soak cashews in warm water for at least 15 minutes.
- Blend the cashews together with salt, ground pepper, Nutritional Yeast, mustard and water to make a creamy sauce.
- Fry the minced onions in a pan with some vegan butter.
- Add the spinach, plant milk and water. Let everything simmer on low heat.
- When the spinach has lost its volume, add the cheese sauce.
- Mix the cooked pasta with the sauce.
- Mix flour, cornstarch, paprika seasoning, salt, ground pepper and water until smooth.
- Crumble the dry bread slices.
- Dip the mushrooms first in the marinade and then in the bread crumbs. The mushroom should be completely covered with crumbs.
- Fry the breaded mushrooms in oil over medium heat.
- I used oyster mushrooms, but you can use other mushrooms.