Vegans can be extreme. After all, we have decided to abstain from eating or even purchasing products containing ANY animal-derived ingredients. Vegetarians are slackers by comparison. Just today, I had to stand by while my daughter had tears streaming down her face because we could not buy what she deemed the cutest poodle sweater on the planet, because it contained 5% cashmere. The nasty business with the bunnies could not, in her mind, overtake the knit poodle.
Poodles aside, eat we must and eat we will, and amidst all of our self-inflicted deprivation, we want to eat well. And so, we tend to go over the top sometimes. Vegans strive to invent fake cheese that functions like cheese, faux chicken that actually tastes like meat, and other assorted laboratory adventures. But we need simple things too—especially with kids. And for kids who like to eat the same thing over and over (is that about 90% of kids? I am starting to wonder), the key to spicing it up is in the sauce. You may serve pasta every other night but Fettuccini Alfredo is ENTIRELY different than spaghetti with meatballs (you will learn to tell yourself). Sauces are also really fun for kids to make and provide lots of opportunity for your miniature sous chefs to actually concoct their own recipes.
The following is a tried and true simple cream sauce that our family loves and loves making. My daughter changes up the seasonings almost every time so feel free to add and subtract as you see fit. We love to serve it over fettuccine with fresh peas and chicken analog so I include those components here, but this sauce is versatile so try it with many of your usual favorites.
2 TBSP whole wheat or brown rice flour
2 TBSP margarine
1 TBSP Veganaise
1+ cup unsweetened soymilk or other unsweetened vegan milk
Salt, pepper, basil, nutmeg seasonings to taste
1 TSP margarine
Beyond Meat lightly seasoned chicken (or your chicken analog of choice), grilled
¼ cup water
½ cup peas, fresh or frozen
16 oz. package of fettuccini
Heat a pan over medium low heat. Cast iron is ideal. Add the flour of your choice and lightly toast. Add the margarine and melt and mix thoroughly with the flour. Add the soymilk. Turn up the temperature. Whisk in the flour and margarine until the liquid is smooth. When soymilk boils, turn down heat, stirring the sauce slowly. Add the Veganaise and again whisk until smooth. Next, season the sauce with salt, pepper, basil, garlic, and a dash of nutmeg.
Heat a separate pan to medium and then add margarine. Add the Beyond Meat. Brown one side and then flip and brown. Remove from pan. Boil water to cook the peas (or sauté them if using fresh). Set aside.
Boil water and cook fettuccini per directions. Remove and add to sauce. Mix. Serve pasta and sauce to the plate. Top with Beyond Meat and peas.