vegan macs and cheese

The cooking streak continues!

Yesterday I decided to make Vegan Macs and “Cheese”. The idea of macs and cheese, without the cheese, isn’t really an appealing one to me. However, not only do I need to avoid gluten at all costs, but I’m also dairy and soy intolerant. So, macs and faux-cheese is really my only option.

I stumbled across a recipe for it by Tara Stiles. Normally, I wouldn’t post someone else’s recipe on my blog…I’d just link over to their post. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find an actual typed-up recipe for it. Just a YouTube video. I don’t know about you, but I absolutely cannot cook with only a video to guide me. I can only imagine the look on my husband’s face when he arrived home to find the iPad coated in extra virgin olive oil and Dijon mustard…from all of the ‘rewinding’ while mid-prep!!!

It’s actually a pretty simple receipe…I started out by very lightly coating some chopped broccoli with extra virgin olive oil. I roasted them in the oven at 400 degrees for about 10-15 minutes.

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While that was going, I pulled together the rest of the ingredients…

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gluten-free corn pasta (any variety)

1 and 1/2 cups of cashews

1 cup of water

2 cloves of garlic (I used one MEGA clove)

red pepper flakes

1 (heaping) tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

sliced baby bella mushrooms

gluten-free Italian breadcrumbs (optional)

Into the blender went the cashews, water, garlic, Dijon mustard and a pinch of red peppers flakes. Once the pasta was cooked I drained it, tossed it back into the pot, added the broccoli, mushrooms and then poured in the blended cashew sauce. Once everything was mixed together I spread it all out into a 13×9 baking dish. Over the top, I sprinkled some g-free breadcrumbs then popped it in the oven at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes.

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That’s it!!

So, it would be a total lie if I said it tasted anything like macs and cheese. It doesn’t. At all. In fact, the name is misleading. Instead it should be called Vegan Cashew Pasta or Garlicky Pasta Casserole. Definitely not Macs and Cheese.

Regardless, it was actually really good. I was a little short on the cashews, so I think that’s why I felt as though it could have used more of the sauce. I also didn’t have any nutritional yeast. I looked for it at the store, but they didn’t carry it, so I skipped it entirely. I’m not a huge fan of garlic, so I probably could have used a little less. I think because there are minimal ingredients a little will go a long way.

I would definitely make this one again. Both my husband and I enjoyed it. Our daughter said it was ‘really good’ when she tried it, but the second she hit one of those red pepper flakes she refused to eat any more!! So maybe next time I’ll leave those on the side to add in afterwards.

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