For many working women, the pasta-and-jarred-alfredo-sauce combo is a frequent go-to meal on busy weeknights. The reasons are obvious.
You don’t have to think about it.
The kids eat it.
The problem is that most jarred alfredo sauces definitely belong on the unhealthy “leave it on the shelf” list. A quick glance at the nutrition labels and lengthy ingredient lists reveal the high amount of animal-based saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium, and many controversial ingredients common in highly processed food.
So imagine my surprise (shock?) when I recently found a small lineup of Victoria Vegan Alfredo Sauces at my local King Soopers (Kroger.)
I grabbed a jar and scanned the ingredient list – cashew cream, roasted red peppers, tomato paste, fresh garlic, salt, black pepper, and other natural ingredients.
The Nutrition Facts chart declared only 57 calories and 4g of total fat, only 1g being saturated (plant-based) fat.
I selected a jar of Roasted Red Pepper Vegan Alfredo and put it in my cart.
When my son was vegan, one of the many plant-based recipes that I fell in love with was cashew cream. Soaked and pureed cashews are mild and creamy, the perfect starting point for a healthy warm nacho-cheese-style dip or alfredo-style sauce for pasta.
But I don’t always remember to put some cashews in the fridge to soak. And if I am pinched for time, or if I’m not feeling well, it can be a God-send to be able to just open a jar and add it to some white wheat whole grain pasta for a quick meal.
That busy weeknight came quickly. As I warmed the sauce I was pleased to see that it looked smooth and creamy, much creamier than I can get cashew cream sauce out of my Ninja blender.
I decided to add some frozen green peas to the sauce and pasta, and served it up with a garden side salad.
The plates all came back empty. Success!
My son’s only complaint was that I had over-sauced the pasta. In my rush, I had dumped the entire 18 ounce jar on a half-pound of fettuccine, thinking I would need it all. But I could have used less sauce, as it is very thick and it coats the pasta well.
A week later I tried the plain Alfredo Sauce version. It was much thinner, and not nearly as tasty. Many of the product reviewers online shared my opinion, but gave high marks to the Roasted Red Pepper, Arugula Pesto and Artichoke versions.
There are a total of 10 vegan sauces in the Victoria lineup, including marinara sauces. All are dairy-free and gluten-free, and all but one are soy-free.
I am looking forward to trying some of the other varieties, especially the Arugula Pesto Vegan Alfredo.
If you can’t find Victoria Vegan sauces at your local grocery store, ask for them. Many stores will special order items for you. You can also find the products online at Amazon.com and Walmart.com, as well as some specialty online stores.
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