Go-to Vegan Macaroni and Cheese – Cheese-a-rific!

Alright so my main qualm against becoming vegan is that I adore cheese. Love it. A vegan friend of mine, who is also a med student, told me that cheese has some components that resemble opium which makes us literally addicted. My response was, “And I will take that drug until the day I die!” Sorry if that’s offensive, just want to show how much I love cheese. Going hand in hand with that love, of course, is a passion for macaroni and cheese. You guys have seen my various recipes for macaroni and cheese (Cauliflower & Sage and Caramelized Shallot). So this is yet another thing that holds me back from veganism…until I found this recipe. Now, I won’t lie, it’s not cheese but it is damn close and it is damn delicious. I think the key ingredient is the nutritional yeast (you can find this in most stores!) and the butternut squash makes it a great hit for any season!

Read on for the recipe and photos…

Ingredients (this makes a TON – I split half to be baked and half to be stovetop. You can also freeze the sauce to use for later)

1/2 butternut squash, peeled and chopped (remember, use a potato peeler to peel and make sure to scoop out the seeds)

3/4 cup raw cashews (unsalted)

1 cup non-dairy milk (I tend to use almond milk because I love the consistency and nutty flavor)

3 garlic cloves

1 tbsp lemon juice

2 tsp kosher salt (be careful not to oversalt – the nuts and the nutritional yeast add salt as well)

6 tbsp nutritional yeast

1/2 tsp dijon mustard

1/2 tsp of oregano or Italian seasoning

1/2 Turmeric powder (for the orange color but it also is a delicious smokey flavor in the background)

1/2 tsp Paprika (plus some to sprinkle on top of the baked version)

Black pepper to taste

Pasta of choice (I think this uses a whole pound – so I used half a pound to bake and half on the stove top)

Breadcrumbs (store bought or make your own by processing some a slice of bread and 1 tbsp of margarine together)

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 350F and either oil or line a baking sheet.
  • Season your chopped squash with a little bit of oil (probably less than 1 tsp), kosher salt, and pepper. Toss onto the baking sheet in an even layer and bake 40 minutes, flipping once half way through.
  • Process the cashews until they resemble corn meal. Start boiling your pasta water and cook as you would normally. (Don’t have a food processor?? No worries! Put your cashews in a ziploc bag, seal it, and smash them with a rolling pin!!)
  • Add the remaining cheese ingredients (almond milk, garlic, lemon juice, salt, nutritional yeast, mustard, pepper, and seasonings) and process until smooth.  (Don’t have a food processor?? Just be sure to mince your garlic as small as possible!)
  • Add the roasted squash to the food processor and process until smooth. (Don’t have a food processor? Mash the squash with a potato masher and mix it all together by hand or using an electric mixer.)
  • If the sauce gets too thick, add a little bit of non-dairy milk (you will have to watch how much nutritional yeast you add – if it’s more than 6 tbsp it will get thick and chunky).
  • Drain and rinse your pasta. For the stovetop version, heat up the sauce in the pan a bit and hadd your pasta. Throw in any mix-ins you want and enjoy!
  • If you’re doing the baked casserole version, pour the pasta into a casserole dish that’s been greased. Add the sauce and stir. Top with breadcrumbs and some paprika. Bake at 350F for 20 – 25 minutes.
  • You can store the leftovers from either version for a few days and like I said you can store the sauce as well (in the fridge for up to a week, in the freezer for about a month).
In case you’re curious, here’s the nutritional value of one scoop: 140 calories, 21g carbs, 6g fat, 3g protein, 2g fiber, 0g cholesterol. Yea. That’s right. = )

I bet you won’t believe how much like macaroni and cheese this dish tastes! It’s filling, salty, and delicious. This has become one of my staple foods!

Image

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Comments
One Response to “Go-to Vegan Macaroni and Cheese – Cheese-a-rific!”
  1. Chef Randall says:

    hey there this looks good. I am writing a blog EXCLUSIVE here on hubpages at savorthefood.hubpages.com and I will be linking to this recipe. The hub is titled “Quick Gourmet Macaroni and Cheese Recipe.”

    I also see you offer your cooking skills. I like to bake..have a small side business “Desserts by Randall.” I seen your page “order something for yourself”. I was thinking of that very thing to add a page to further my business here in were I live.

    Like your blog, will being following it.

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