Typically creamy pasta is laden with dairy and often leaves us feeling heavy, bloated, and sluggish. This dish gives you the creaminess your taste buds desire while using zero dairy and the flavors of summer to keep things fresh. The combination of garlic, cashews, and lemon give the sauce a rich texture and flavor, while the summer vegetables and herbs add the lightness you're craving in hotter months. This will be a recipe you use year-round to please any crowd. Try it when having cravings on the Cleanse!
Summer Squash Varieties Help Produce Collagen
We're seeing lots of squash varieties in season this time of year like zucchini, summer squash, and yellow squash. Vitamin C is one of the nutrients you'll find in all three squash varieties. Vitamin C is one of the many antioxidants found in our skin layers, and the content decreases as we age. Poor diet, excessive sun exposure, smoking, and other toxins will decrease the vitamin C in our skin even more. Getting vitamin C through our diet is crucial to ensuring our skin remains healthy. Vitamin C is crucial for producing collagen, which is important for muscle repair, healing wounds, joint health, and skin elasticity. Lacking vitamin C can cause more signs of aging over time.
Why We're Using the Whole Lemon
We've used the entire lemon in this recipe (both skin and juice) because of the fresh flavor they give the dish, but also because of the many benefits they provide. Lemon juice is known for its positive benefits on digestion. It helps waste move through the body smoothly to keep your energy up and bloating away. Lemon peel (the zest) contains almost five times the density of vitamins as the inner flesh. You'll reap rich antioxidant benefits when you eat the peel, which is why it's important to select organic and wash well.
The Secret Ingredient in this Pasta
We highly recommend topping this dish with the green olives. The add an aromatic, salty bite, which is the perfect contrast to the mild, creamy flavor of the pasta. In addition to the flavor, you'll get a large dose of vitamin E, an antioxidant often found in plant-based fat sources. Vitamin E, like vitamin C, is important for skin health and preventing premature aging and skin diseases. It's also potentially helpful in preventing neurological diseases like Alzheimer's.
By choosing a gluten-free pasta and keeping the things dairy-free with cashews in the sauce, this dish is vegan and completely in line with the 21-Day Cleanse.
8 ounces gluten-free pasta
1 yellow squash
1 cup packed basil
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
Optional: red pepper flakes
1.5 cups almond milk
2/3 cup cashews
1-2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Generous pinch of salt
Course ground pepper
Green olives, whole or halved
Step 1: Cook pasta according to directions. Strain and rinse with cold water.
Step 2: Cut zucchini into thick rounds, then slice round in half (be sure to make slices thick, otherwise they will not hold up to the heat). Cut basil into strips. Zest one whole lemon then cut in half.
Step 3: Blend all sauce ingredients until smooth then set aside.
Step 4: Heat olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Add zucchini, season with salt/pepper, and cook for 4-5 minutes or until just tender. Add garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and place veggies on a plate.
Step 5: In the same pan, add cashew sauce. Cook over medium-low until slightly thickened. Then add cooked pasta and toss to fully combine, and reheat pasta. Pour pasta and cream sauce into a large serving platter.
Step 6: Toss pasta with lemon zest, veggies, and 3/4 of basil. When ready to serve, top with olives and remaining basil.
Recipe and photography by Kaitlyn Noble
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