My spiced pecans are making a comeback! If you remember, I made a pear noodle salad with spiced pecans a few months ago.
My favorite part of that salad are the crunchy pecans. So, I thought – why not use them in a pasta dish?
Hence, the spiced pecan comeback.
Last night, I went to a restaurant in the city and ate way too much food that I knew had a lot of butter on it. The butter taste is so distinct, you almost have to shrug your shoulders when you take a bite – you know you’re eating a stick of butter. But it makes the food taste so good!
This vegan pumpkin alfredo tastes like it’s made with the “bad” stuff – cream, butter and Parmesan cheese. The nutritional yeast flakes add a velvety cheesiness, while the slight pumpkin flavor creates a warm, deep flavor that brings out the sweetness in the pecans and beets.
Not only is this dish healthy – it’s colorful! The red color in the beets doesn’t bleed as much once the beets are roasted.
Actually, I get a lot of questions from readers saying, “I’m afraid to spiralize beets – will it stain my spiralizer?!” First off, it definitely will not – just make sure you immediately wash the spiralizer after using it with beets.
Also, do you not wear a new pair of shoes outside because you’re afraid you’ll dirty them? The spiralizer is meant to be used to make noodles out of veggies, so don’t be afraid! Beets are one of my favorite types of veggie noodles – definitely top 3!
My top 3 favorite veggies to spiralize:
2. Sweet potato
What are your favorite veggies to spiralize?
Nutritional Information & Recipe
Beet Noodle Pumpkin Alfredo with Spiced Pecans
- For the spiced pecans:
- ½ cup whole pecans
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- salt to taste
- For the alfredo pasta:
- 4 beets peeled, Blade C, noodles trimmed
- salt and pepper to taste
- ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 4 sage leaves
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup diced shallots
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 pinch of nutmeg to taste
- ½ cup raw cashews soaked for at least 2 hours and then drained
- ½ - 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- ½ cup low-sodium vegetable broth + more for thinning as needed
- freshly minced parsley to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl, whisk together the maple syrup with the cinnamon, cayenne and season lightly with salt. It should create a paste. Add the pecans into the mixture. Stir to combine thoroughly.
- Take out two baking sheets and line both with parchment paper. On one, lay the dressed pecans out on a parchment paper lined baking tray and bake for 5 minutes, flip over and bake another 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside. Let the pecans cool for at least 5 minutes before you use them in the rest of the recipe (they will become less sticky the longer they sit.)
- Five minutes after the pecans are in the oven, lay out the beet noodles on the other lined baking sheet. Coat with cooking spray and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 5-10 minutes (I kept mine in for 7) or until your desired al dente consistency.
- After both the pecans and beets are in the oven, place a large skillet over medium heat and add in the olive oil. Once oil heats, add in the sage and cook until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a small, paper-towel lined plate.
- Place the red pepper flakes and shallots and garlic immediately into the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes or until translucent, stirring constantly to avoid burning. Then, add in pumpkin puree, season with salt, pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon and crumble in the sage. Let cook for 1-2 minutes for flavors to develop, again stirring constantly.
- In a high-speed blender, combine the pumpkin mixture, cashews, nutritional yeast (start with ½ tablespoon and add more to your preference) and vegetable broth. Pulse until creamy and add more vegetable broth, if needed. Taste and adjust (not cheesy enough? More nutritional yeast? Not salty enough? More salt.)
- Divide the beet noodles into bowls and top with a scoop of the pumpkin alfredo sauce (about 1/3 – ½ cup). Top with parsley and pecans.