Heyyy guys! I’ve been in LA the last couple of days enjoying the energy of the city. Its really unlike any other place I’ve been. You know when things just feel right, like you can’t necessarily put it into words but you somehow feel in alignment with your self and what you are up too? Thats how I have been feeling the last few days and months even.
I’ve been paying a lot of attention to the food I have been eating as a way to boost my mood. Good Mood Food I’ve been calling it. Last week, I posted about how changing up my diet and lifestyle helped curb depression and anxiety symptoms.
Thank you to all of you who reached out and said the post was helpful. Some of you even said you were going to share it with others in your life hoping it would make a difference for them. That really is the best feeling, knowing that I might be able to help others by sharing.
Keeping with the flow of it all, I created this recipe specifically using ingredients that are high in nutrients that support our sunny state of mind and good vibes.
Nuts, but cashews specifically are high in tryptophan, an amino acid that supports serotonin production in the body. Essentially without it our body can not make serotonin, so its hella important.
Nutritional yeast is high in B vitamins that support our nervous system functioning and avocado is high in healthy fat which our brains NEED to run efficiently.
I was listening to a podcast on my drive to LA last week and the doctor being interviewed said that she thought the rise of cognitive disease like dementia and alzheimer’s was a result or at least correlated with the low fat diet craze of the 90’s. Although I do not know if that is true it could very well have an impact since fat is so important for brain function.
Additionally I serve it with spinach for phytonutrients that fight oxidative stress and aging. Although it doesn’t directly effect mood, it makes me happy knowing I’m getting in leafy greens which are SO important for health.
This recipe is a gem you guys.
My non-vegan fried chicken loving boyfriend could not stop eating it and I ended up making it two days in a row. The kids will love it too. Promise. and It keeps well in the fridge for days.
Its really easy to throw together and I know you will freaking love it. Its basically comfort food on crack but also really healthy for you too.
Without further Ado:
Vegan and Gluten Free Cashew Alfredo Pasta
Serves 4 | Prep/Soaking 3 hours | 30 min
1 bag Trader Joes brown rice & quinoa fusilli pasta or other bag that you love
1 15- ounce can of garbanzo beans
1 1/2 cup peas, frozen
4 cups spinach, loosely packed
3/4 cup micro greens
1 serving alfredo sauce, recipe below
1 avocado, sliced
To Serve: nutritional yeast, black pepper, pink salt, lemon wedges
1 cup cashews, soaked for 3 hrs in room temp water to 30 mins in hot water
1/2 cup warm h20
2 lemons juiced (about 1/4 cup)
1-2 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 big garlic cloves
1/2-1 tsp pink salt to taste
1/4 tsp black pepper
Make the sauce by soaking and draining the cashews and then blending everything on high until smooth
Boil the pasta according to package instructions. Drain, add in the peas and mix to defrost. Then add everything but the avocado and mix well to combine. Plate the pasta and serve with avocado and lemon wedges on the side. Top with more nutrtional yeast, salt, black pepper if desired.