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Vegan Carbonara with tofu bacon bits
Sometimes you just want comfort food without all the hassle. And pasta is one of those goods that give me a lot of comfort. I love tomato sauce but you got to mix it up a bit as well. So when someone in my office had spaghetti Carbonara for lunch I thought why not veganise it! As mentioned the obvious choice would've been mushrooms to replace the bacon. But I wanted to add more texture and protein to it. So I added my vegan bacon bits to it. They are super easy to make and taste very much like bacon. When you marinate and bake tofu it totally transforms. One of the magic ingredients for it is miso paste, my new favourite ingredient it seems. And for the Carbonara sauce I used blended cashews, very simple. Check out the recipe below and let me know what you think.
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I have to say I really missed spaghetti Carbonara, so it was amazing to be able to have this dish again. Healthier, still full of protein and absolutely delicious.
Initially I tried using other ingredients. I even experimented with tahini but cashews really worked best in the Carbonara sauce.
These are the bacon bits fresh out of the oven. I couldn't believe how much they tasted like actual bacon. I tried them on a few omnivores as well and they all loved them.
The vegan carbonara had such a great consistency. I deliberately stayed away from mushrooms as it was too much of an obvious choice. So my vegan tofu bacon worked amazingly well.
INGREDIENTS VEGAN CARBONARA SAUCE:
Vegan carbonara sauce ingredients:
- 60g cashew nuts
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
INGREDIENTS VEGAN TOFU BACON
Vegan tofu bacon marinade:
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 large tsp or 1 1/2 tsp dark miso paste
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika powder
Bacon base ingredients:
- 150g firm tofu
- Spaghetti or pasta of your choice
Preheat your oven to 200C (400F).
Add all vegan carbonara sauce ingredients into a blender and blend until you get a smooth sauce. If you have a half decent blender then there is no need to soak the cashews before.
For the tofu bacon marinade get a bowl and add 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1 large tsp or 1 1/2 tsp of dark miso paste, 1/2 tsp of garlic powder and 1 tsp of smoked paprika powder. Mix together well.
Cut 150g of firm tofu into small cubes and transfer into a small tupperware dish. Pour the tofu bacon marinade into it, close the lid and shake the dish so the marinade covers every single tofu cube. You can marinade it for a bit but it's really not necessary luckily.
Transfer the marinated tofu bacon bits to a lined baking tray and distribute evenly.
Bake in the preheated oven for 15min.
While this is baking cook the spaghetti.
When they are cooked pour he carbonara sauce over the spaghetti and mix in the tofu bacon bits. Serve with a nice green salad. Enjoy!
And if you like hearty meals like this why not try my vegan sour cream Schnitzel.
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