Friday, April 27, 2012

No Cheese "Mac & Cheese"

This was my third attempt at vegan Mac & Cheese, and I think I was finally successful.  Vegan recipes generally call for nutritional yeast in the "cheese" sauce, and it just does not taste good to me. My first two attempts were not edible.  The "cheese" sauce in this recipe is made with vegetables.  The potatoes give it the creamy consistency, and the carrots give it that cheesy color.

No Cheese "Mac & Cheese"

1/2 lb elbow macaroni
1 Yukon Gold potato, peeled and diced
1/2 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
1/3 c. diced yellow onion
1 1/4 c. water
1/3 c. olive oil
1/3 c. raw cashews
2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. crushed garlic
1/8 tsp. dry mustard
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
 (or even less if you have kids) 

Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease a casserole dish.

Prepare macaroni according to package instructions. Boil in heavily salted water. Drain and set aside.

Sauce instructions:

Combine potatoes, carrots, onion, cashews, and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer covered for 10 minutes. Boiling the cashews softens them to make a creamy sauce.

Put the oil, salt, garlic, dry mustard, lemon juice, black pepper, cayenne, and cooked ingredients with the cooking water into a blender and process until smooth and creamy.  You could also use an immersion blender.

Stir the macaroni and the "cheese" sauce together until pasta is completely covered.  Transfer into the casserole dish.  Bake for 15-30 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling.

 You could always top this off with bread crumbs before baking, or mix in some broccoli, depending on what your family likes.

I'm not going to lie and say it tastes exactly like cheese, but it does taste good.  And, it's a healthy alternative to dairy. I don't have kids, but I would love for someone to make it, and see if your kids notice a difference.  It's a great way to hide vegetables in their food!


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