Spinach & Mushroom Alfredo with Bacon!
Creamy sauces are bit of a conundrum in the nut free paleo world. What are we to use to soothe our need for cream, coconut? Yes it hits the spot with the sweets, but a cheesy like, savory sauce… enter cauliflower! What a versatile veg! Once the least favorite on the crudite plate, cauliflower has become the knight and shining vegetable of the paleo movement. From rice to pizza to .. you know, alfredo sauce, this crunchy, white cruciferous vegetable does it all!
I made a cauliflower cream sauce that is the bees knees if you ask me, great for pies, stir fries and taco salads alike… but it wasn’t hitting the alfredo note. What makes an alfredo sauce different from a cream…. well traditional alfredo has Parmesan cheese! A little light bulb just went off… Parmiginao Reggiano, the most popular or all Italian cheeses, the savory, salty addition to pasta bowls world wide is indeed UMAMI! The large white crystals in the cheese are the glutamate, an amino acid that breaks down protein. Glutamate, is what we taste when we taste umami. You know what else is umami, and we (AIP, Whole30, Paleo) can eat… FISH SAUCE! Cue the trumpets!
So this delicious meal came together because I had some cauli-cream sauce 2.0 (aka Alfredo), a spaghetti squash batch cooked, and a new pack of Pederson’s bacon in the fridge. It pretty much came together by itself!
- 1/2 spaghetti squash, roasted (I halve and roast at 400F for 35 minutes)
- 4 slices sugar free, nightshade free bacon
- 4 cups raw spinach
- 2 cup sliced, cremini or baby bella mushrooms
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 sprig fresh basil
- 1 head cauliflower, about 3 cups diced
- 2 small onions, 1 cup diced
- 1 inch nub of fresh ginger root, peeled
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup bone broth
- 1/4 cup Red Boat No.49 fish sauce
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- If you haven’t done so already, roast your spaghetti squash, halve, place meat side down on a sheet pan and roast until hard shell can be pierced by a fork. About 35 minutes at 400F.
- Next prepare Alfredo sauce: dice cauliflower, onion, garlic & ginger.
- Heat olive oil in a large pot, add in garlic, ginger & onion.
- Saute on high for 6 minutes, stirring often.
- Add in cauliflower, stir well.
- Add in salt, oregano, broth & coconut milk.
- Stir well. Lower heat to medium-low.
- Cover with a tight fitting lid.
- Let it cook simmering until the cauliflower is very tender, about 15 minutes.
- Transfer all of it to a blender, carefully!
- Add in the fish sauce. Blend until smooth.
- Taste, adjust salt as needed.
- *** you can also prepare cauliflower in pressure cooker, start with saute mode, then close and set to vegetable (about 7.5 psi for 8 minutes). ***
- It will make about 4 cups!
- To prepare dish: cook bacon first. I like to do it in the oven.
- Lay bacon flat on cooling rack over sheet pan, and put the pan in a cold oven, then set oven to 350F After it reaches 350F check on bacon, set timer to 8 minutes, check again, cook until crispy.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet.
- Slice garlic cloves & mushrooms.
- Once skillet is hot add in mushrooms & garlic.
- Saute in the skillet on high until tender. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
- Add in spinach.
- Stir and saute until wilted.
- Add in 1 cup of Alfredo sauce.
- Stir well & remove from heat.
- Using a fork, pull out all the meat of one half the spaghetti squash.
- Add it to the skillet.
- Chop up crispy bacon & add it to the skillet as well.
- Garnish with fresh basil.
- Mix it all up and serve 2 moderate portions, or serve in a generous bowl & chow down!
- Make the cauliflower Alfredo & spaghetti squash ahead for a super quick weekday meal!