Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Guest Post - Ilana (Vegetable Fettuccine a la Vodka)

Good morning guys!!   So happy to have a guest poster today, as we were out a little too late last night listening to live music and having a great time!!   Sooo sleepy and uncreative! haha 
Thanks so much to Ilana for doing a guest post for me.  Ilana's blog is fabulous and as I get to know her, she is one of the sweetest girls around!!  


Hey hey party people! My name is Ilana and I write a blog called Happy Healthy Hottie, where I talk about overcoming my negative self image through healthy eating and lifestyle habits. I'm so excited Jess is letting me guest post on Dairy Free Betty! This wonderful blog has been a great resource for me ever since I removed dairy from my
I was the girl who went vegetarian with the insistence that I would "rather die than give up dairy." As a child,
my #1 go-to meal (and comfort food) was a big bowl of angel hair pasta swimming in butter and parmesan cheese. Imagine my surprise, when, at 21 years old, my body no longer liked dairy? I was devastated! But,
I cut it out and I am a much happier girl for it. My family doesn't seem to always understand the "no dairy" concept e- they always try to "sneak it in" thinking I won't know so it won't bug me.

Wrong! I don't get it, you wouldn't ask someone to go roll in a patch of poison ivy, so why try to get me to eat something that makes me ill? I understand that my mom is concerned about how much calcium I am getting in my diet, but I eat tons of calcium-packed plant-based food every day, so I'm not worried! Some of my favorite plant food sources of calcium include brussels sprouts, kale, and other leafy greens, which pack a rich punch of iron in addition to calcium (good for those bones)!

My all-time favorite way to eat my calcium, though, is tahini! Tahini (or tahina, or tehina, or tehini, etc...
Because it isn't an English word, there is no official designated spelling) is the paste formed from ground sesame seeds. It can be raw, roasted, made from hulled or whole seeds, and there is even a tahini made from black sesame seeds available. I tend to buy raw, unhulled tahini but they are all excellent, and I doubt it makes a significant difference, taste-wise. I live in a neighborhood with a large Middle Eastern population, so tahini is easy to find, but if you don't see it in the ethnic foods section of your local grocery, check
at your local health food store by the nut butters.
Tahini is a permanent staple in my cupboard. My mother once described it to me as "the Middle Eastern mayo" and she was completely right on that count. I use it almost anywhere I want a touch of creaminess, especially salad dressings, and I eat it at least once a day!

This is one of my favorite ways to eat tahini - my revised version of my favorite childhood comfort food. While my days of slurping up ribbons of pasta drenched in rich, dairy-based dressings are long gone, this amazing vegan-ized fettuccine "a la vodka" quite makes up for it. In fact, this is definitely my new comfort meal, and I don't feel a bit guilty about it the next day!
To amp the healthy factor in this recipe, I use "fettuccine" made by peeling zucchini and carrots into long, thin strips with a vegetable peeler, but this sauce tastes delicious on top of your favorite pasta too! I'd recommend trying it out on top of penne, to replicate the Italian classic.
his recipe serves one - me! - so if you want to make more,simply multiply the measurements by however many people you're cooking for.
Vegetable Fettuccine a la Vodka
1 zucchini
2 medium carrots
1 cup broccoli, chopped into small pieces
1/3 cup marinara sauce (whatever you have on hand)
or crushed canned tomatoes
2 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp olive oil or water
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper (optional)
Set broccoli in a basket over boiling water to
steam for 5-7 minutes, or until desired doneness is reached.
While broccoli is steaming, rinse and peel your zucchini and
carrots into long, thin strips into a bowl, and mix.
In a separate, smaller bowl or a small blender, mix together
marinara, tahini, olive oil/water, and pepper until smooth.
Top zucchini and carrot noodles with broccoli, then pour the
marinara-tahini sauce over the whole thing.
Mix up well, serve, and enjoy!

I promise this is a dead-ringer for penne a'la vodka from your
favorite Italian restaurant! The broccoli and the noodles soak up the
sauce and each bite is flavorful and delicious. This colorful dish
never fails to pick up my mood at the end of a long day!
Thanks Ilana - this sounds amazing!! 
Make sure to check out her blog Happy, Healthy, Hottie!
Her blog is awesome you'll love it!! 

Tomorrow I've got some more highlights of our trip for you!! Including some AMAZING live music! 

Take care, 


  1. Yum - that looks great. And it just might be a way to convince my zuke-phobic child to consume them....

  2. looks great, thanks for sharing!

  3. Thanks so much for having me, Jess! I'm so happy I got to share this recipe with you and all the Dairy Free hotties out there :)

    To Deanna, above - the zucchini really does taste like pasta! As a lifelong pasta lover, I thought it wouldn't be an adequate replacement, but it really has that same starchy-carby taste and bite. And it's really filling!

  4. Hmmm... I can live with zucchini noodles, but without the vodka? How about just a tablespoon! ;)


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