Almond Alfredo Penne with Shiitake
This dish is easy, satisfying, and not overly rich. Almonds lend a clean creaminess that is lighter than using cashews. It’s perfect for an Alfredo. You don’t have to put it in a spaghetti squash bowl, but it’s autumn and I love cooking with seasonal foods and making my dishes beautiful. The shiitake mushrooms lend a meaty bit here and there.
Shiitake mushrooms host an impressive array of benefits. They are extremely popular worldwide for their meaty texture and medicinal properties. Known for their anti-infectious, antimicrobial, cancer fighting, and immune boosting properties, they are high in B vitamins and contain 13 vitamins and minerals that are necessary for metabolism, skin, brain, energy, gut, immune, and bone health. These mushrooms are also high in protein, fiber, contain all 8 essential amino acids, and are low in calories. Many studies have been performed on their unique chemical components and phytonutrients showing that they help protect DNA against oxidative damage (especially from anti cancer treatments), are anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, help lower cholesterol build up in the cardiovascular system and the liver, reduce inflammation, and control blood sugar levels and appetite.
As for almonds, they are taking over the vegan world, and with good reason. They are an energy dense food full of fiber, monounsaturated fats, riboflavin, phosphorus, calcium, iron, copper, arginine, manganese, antioxidants, protein, magnesium, and vitamin E. They are popularly used for their oils, to make milks, creams, yogurts, almond flours, almond butters, and eaten raw. Full of healthy fats, they help lower cholesterol and curb hunger cravings throughout the day. They also are incredible for heart health, skin health, and brain function.
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