Easy Ways To Eat Healthy + Whole Food Plant Based Avocado Alfredo Pasta Recipe

January 6, 2015 / Molly Patrick /

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What’s your take on New Year’s resolutions? Are they shit on a stick or are you into them?

I have A LOT of crap I can work on to become a better person, but I’ve never liked schedules, so I just try to work on my crap each day. Today is all we have anyway.

I think that practicing being in the present moment is all the resolution that anyone needs, regardless of how much they have to work on.

When you practice being in the present moment and making choices based on that moment instead of from past experiences or future predictions, things start to fall into place.

Last year at this time, I’d been fired from my job and my dad almost died of heart failure all in the same week.

At the time, resolving to “stop fucking cursing so much”, “banning gluten from my world” or “getting rid of my love handles” seemed so irrelevant and stupid.

And besides, I like how I talk, I fucking love bread and my love handles are part of the Molly package. So I decided to start trusting the universe more and STOP with the self nitpicking.

I am who I am, for better or for worse.

As I reflect on the past year, it’s safe to say that I’ve found my formula:

Trusting the Universe + Self Love
= Your Whole World Opening Up

The thing that I’m most proud of circa 2014 is creating Clean Food Dirty Girl.

This isn’t some side gig that I’m doing for fun while I “work on my career”.

This is it for me and I couldn’t do it without you. Every email, tweet, Facebook and blog comment that I get from this community goes straight to my heart. I love hearing from you, I love your stories and I’m honored by your honesty and your trust in me.

I get a lot of emails asking me not to burn out and to keep doing what I’m doing. I want you to know that I’m not going anywhere. I’m actually just getting started!

You’re pretty much stuck with me (unless of course you unsubscribe from my emails, stop following me on social, stop reading my blogs and stop making my recipes. If you do that, we will be unstuck).

So together, let’s rock the shit out of 2015 – one day, one hour, one second at a time.

Um, speaking of being stuck with me, I’m so glad that I started the private Facebook group last week.

If you haven’t requested to join yet, come on over. The food that everyone has been indulging on is hilarious. I’m so glad that I’m not alone.

The past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of food that I’d normally never eat.

I don’t even know how it happened. All I know is that as I’m writing this, I’m eating a Custard Cream English biscuit and there’s nothing “whole” or “plant” about it.

It’s pure processed, sugary delight and I need to put the fucking thing down, but I’m not going to (yet).

There was my run in with Gruyère on Christmas eve. There have been croissants, booze, a bowl of Rice Krispies (WTF???), French fries. It’s been hideous and awesome at the same time. Because RICE KRISPIES.

I’ve been in the Virgin Islands in the last month and it’s a fact that when I’m traveling and not in my own kitchen, it can be much trickier to eat healthy. But it’s not an excuse. I can buy kale here.

The truth is, most humans fall somewhat off track with eating healthy at some point, especially around the holidays. Even if they’re the co-founder of a company with the name “Clean Food” in it.

Ahem.

It happens and life goes on.

As long as you have a game plan to put the custard creams down at some point, it’s all good in the hood.

So here’s the thing. Even though I’ve been eating stuff that I normally wouldn’t, I’ve also been super diligent about eating lots of cruciferous vegetables.

Here’s why.

When it comes to nutrient gods, cruciferous veggies win.

Here’s the deal.

  • Cruciferous vegetables contain something called glucosinolates (why do these words always have to be so long and hard to pronounce? Why couldn’t they just be called glots, or something just as easy?).
  • They also contain an enzyme called myrosinase (again!). When cruciferous veggies get blended, chopped or chewed, the plant cells get broken up, allowing the first hard to pronounce compound, glucosinolates, to come into contact with the second hard to say enzyme, myrosinase.
  • When these two make contact, magic happens, and a chemical reaction that creates something called isothiocyanates is initiated.

These Isothiocyanates (or ITCs / ha! someone got wise) have been shown to detoxify and remove carcinogens, kill cancer cells and prevent tumors from growing.

Observational Studies have shown:

  • 28 servings of vegetables per week decreased prostate cancer risk by 33%, but only 3 servings of cruciferous veggies per week decreased prostate cancer risk by 41%.
  • One or more servings of cabbage per week reduced the risk of pancreatic cancer by 38%.
  • One serving per day of cruciferous veggies reduced the risk of breast cancer by over 50%.

Not only are cruciferous veggies super powerful for cancer prevention, they also boost the immune system, they’re high in fiber, low in fat and are chock-full of phytochemicals.

So here’s the deal. I don’t want you to memorize the super long funky words, glucosinolates, myrosinase and isothiocyanates, but what I do want you to walk away is this.

When you plan your meals and buy your veggies, keep in mind that they’re not all created equal. You can eat an iceberg lettuce salad everyday and not get as many benefits as you could by eating a few servings of broccoli per week.

You have to buy groceries anyway baby cakes, so you might as well buy the ones that pack the most punch and will give you the most health bang for your buck.

Here’s a list of cruciferous veggies. Put these in your grocery cart, okay? (especially if you’re eating shitty)

  • Arugula / Rocket
  • Bok Choy
  • Broccoli
  • Broccoli Rabe
  • Broccolini
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Collards
  • Horseradish
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Mustard Greens
  • Radish
  • Red Cabbage
  • Rutabaga
  • Turnip
  • Turnip Greens
  • Watercress

Today’s recipe is incredibly simple and it’ll give you a good dose of cruciferi (probably not a real word).

Whole Food Plant Based Quick Avocado Alfredo Pasta

Author: Molly Patrick of Clean Food Dirty Girl

Ingredients

  • 1/2 package whole wheat or gluten free spaghetti
  • 3 cups broccoli cut into bite-sized pieces

Sauce

  • 1/4 cup raw cashews 35g, soaked in water for 10 minutes
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk 235ml
  • 1/4 cup water 60ml
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • Red pepper

Instructions

  • Start the water for the pasta.
  • Place the broccoli in a small pan, cover with water and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Make the sauce by placing all the sauce ingredients into the blender, except the black pepper and red pepper flakes, and blend until smooth (make sure you drain the water from the cashews before you add the cashews to the blender).
  • Place the sauce in a pan, add some black pepper and red pepper flakes and heat over low heat.
  • When the pasta is done cooking, drain it, place a portion of pasta in a bowl. Pour some sauce over the pasta and top with broccoli.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.

Avo_pasta_pastaAvo+pasta_sauceavocado alfredo pasta

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Behind the scenes workaytion shot in the British Virgin Islands with the Caribbean sea as backdrop

I wish you the very best year ahead. May you be happy beyond words, so healthy that your doctor is shocked, and loved and supported in the times that suck.

(Source for cruciferous info)

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Written by ex-boozer, ex-smoker, Co-founder, and CEO, Molly Patrick. They will help you eat more plants while throwing perfection down the garbage disposal.

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8 Comments

  1. Addie Ryan on January 29, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    Hey superstar,
    Just a little hi to say I love your work & think you’re a top notch gal.
    Thanks for inspiring my man & I in Cairns, Australia!
    Love us x

    • Molly Patrick on January 31, 2015 at 4:56 pm

      Thank you! I take that love and will cuddle with it!
      Thanks for the message.
      xo
      Molly

  2. Katie B on February 11, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    Hey there, huge fan of your recipes! I made this a few nights ago and it was delicious. I had left overs for lunch today and the avocado had turned brown, but I still ate it. It was okay… As long as there is no mold, is it okay to eat it if its oxidized a bit?

    • Molly Patrick on February 11, 2015 at 8:36 pm

      Hi Katie – Totally!
      You said it, browning of avocados is just oxidation – it is not harmful to eat once they turn brown 🙂
      This recipe is best eaten right away because that’s when it tastes the best, but it will in no way be harmful to your bod if you eat it the next day.
      xo
      Molly

  3. Sue on December 25, 2019 at 6:37 am

    5 stars
    this was delish!!! i’ll be making it again for sure. looking forward to the leftovers today for lunch! 🙂

    • Molly Patrick on December 25, 2019 at 10:38 pm

      Yay! I’m so glad you liked it 😉
      xo
      Molly

  4. Deb on January 20, 2020 at 10:12 am

    Can I use the water that the cashews are soaking as the water required in the ingredients?

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on January 20, 2020 at 11:11 am

      Hi Deb, Yes, you can do this. We generally don’t specify this because cashew soaking water is not usually measured out to begin with and we want to avoid having someone add too little or too much liquid to the recipe by adding all of the soak water. As long as you measure out the amount of water needed for the recipe – if you want to include the cashew soaking water in that amount, that will work just fine. ~Karen

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