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Two-Pot Gluten-Free Alfredo

Updated on May 2, 2015
So much cauliflower!!
So much cauliflower!! | Source

"That Cauliflower Dish"

My mom, grandma, and I are trying to cook and eat more healthily, and have discovered that staying gluten-free and low-dairy makes us all feel better. Grandma calls this recipe “That Cauliflower Dish” and requests it all the time. It’s hearty, filling, creamy, and packed with more vegetables than you can shake a colander at. As a shamelessly non-reformed lover of all things rich and decadent, I promise that it doesn't taste anywhere near as healthy as it is.

My family’s cooking efforts have led to some great meals, but also to more time spent in the kitchen, and some very dirty dishes. There are few things I truly hate, and I TRULY HATE getting pots dirty. I don’t really mind washing pots, but I will move heaven and earth to not get them dirty in the first place.

The following recipe has become one of my favorite go-to meals because it’s quick, relatively painless, and you can make the whole meal with TWO POTS!

4.7 stars from 3 ratings of Gluten-Free Pasta Dish

Prep and Cook Time

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 20 min
Ready in: 40 min
Yields: Serves 4 happily, with a midnight snack left over

What You'll Cook

  • 1 large head cauliflower, chopped
  • 3 cups almond milk
  • 8 cloves garlic, chopped - we love garlic!
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 pound your favorite fresh or frozen vegetable, no sauce
  • 1 package Pad Thai rice noodles
  • your favorite Italian herbs, to taste
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Save the Pots!

Could you dirty up these beautiful pots with a clear conscience?  I sure as heck couldn't!
Could you dirty up these beautiful pots with a clear conscience? I sure as heck couldn't! | Source

What You'll Get Dirty

  • 1 4qt saucepan and its lid
  • 1 8qt pot and its lid
  • 1 steaming colander that's also big enough to drain pasta
  • 1 pasta serving spoon
  • 1 knife
  • 1 cutting board
  • 1 immersion blender (preferred) or hand-mixer

You could use a regular blender, but that would totally count as another pot. You thought I was joking about hating to get things dirty, didn't you!

To The Pots!

  1. Big Pot: Chop up the cauliflower in bite-sized chunks, then steam for 10 minutes using the metal colander. We usually prepare a whole mess of it at once and freeze extra portions for later. After steaming, dump the cauliflower into the little pot.
  2. Big Pot: Soak the Pad Thai noodles in just enough water to cover them, and set them aside while you work on the next phase.
  3. Little Pot: Heat the cauliflower, almond milk, garlic, and herbs over a medium flame until they simmer, then keep them simmering until the cauliflower goes soft, about 10 minutes.
  4. Big Pot: Pour the soaked noodles into your colander, re-fill the pot with fresh water, and get it boiling.
  5. Little Pot: Use your immersion blender to blend everything in the pot till it’s creamy and frothy. Add the Parmesan and continue blending. Add salt or pepper to taste, then dump in your frozen or fresh-steamed vegetables. Cover the pot and continue to simmer gently, stirring occasionally. Don’t blend any more, unless you want your entire dish to be the color of your frozen vegetables. I won’t judge.
  6. Big Pot: When the water boils, dump in the noodles and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently. Since the noodles soaked, they are done really quickly, and there’s nothing worse than a weak rice noodle. Drain the noodles in the colander and put them back in the big pot on the stove, just not on the same hot burner! Then pour the sauce over the noodles, stir it all up, and serve!

Break All the Rules

Since rules are made to be broken, we've found a delicious way to bash them to pieces. To completely ruin the two-pot system, the low-dairy legality, and the gluten-free goodness, you can stick the finished dish in an oven-proof casserole, top it with Panko, Progresso crumbs, and more cheese, and re-heat it whenever. YUM!

Special Thanks

Thank you, Robert Irvine, for inspiring this dish. I got the idea to use cauliflower for creaminess when you made white pizza sauce for the episode of Restaurant:Impossible with the First Lady and Horton's Kids. Oh, and my grandma thinks you’re hunky.


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    • annemaeve profile image

      annemaeve 4 years ago from Philly Burbs

      Sally, I've gotta go shopping tomorrow anyway... what say we mix the fabulous chicken from tonight in with a batch of this tomorrow night?

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      annemaeve, this is such an awesome dish. I know from personal experience. :) I love it when you take an idea (such as this one from Robert Irvine) and turn it into something uniquely your own. This one's a winner! Grandma says so. Low fat, no gluten, no lactose, and rich, creamy results. We love it.

    • annemaeve profile image

      annemaeve 4 years ago from Philly Burbs

      jocent, I've never grown cauliflower, but I know you can grow lettuce in small pots quite happily. Maybe one cauliflower would be happy in a pot? Or mini-cauliflower?

    • annemaeve profile image

      annemaeve 4 years ago from Philly Burbs

      Carb Diva - definitely! We've been using almond milk for more and more things in the kitchen and it's been a pleasant surprise.

    • annemaeve profile image

      annemaeve 4 years ago from Philly Burbs

      dilipchandra12, thank you! I had fun writing it. :)

    • jocent profile image

      jocent 4 years ago

      How I wish could grow cauliflower in my concrete garden, it is my favourite. Thanks to your family for sharing this wonderful recipe.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 4 years ago from Washington State, USA

      I too enjoyed your hub. May I assume that if lactose is not a problem one may substitute non-fat milk for the almond milk?

    • dilipchandra12 profile image

      Dilip Chandra 4 years ago from India

      Very good hub, interesting read and good recipe. Enjoyed reading, your style of making the hub is cool, good work.