Friday, April 21, 2017

Vegan Mac and Cheese

No animal products and no oil are in this healthier version of the classic macaroni and cheese. The "cheese" sauce is mainly potatoes and carrots. Nutritional yeast and lemon juice help give it a tangy cheddar flavor.

16 oz elbow macaroni, cooked and drained

"Cheese" Sauce
16 oz peeled potatoes (about 2) cut into 1" pieces
8 oz carrots (about 2) cut into 1" slices
1/4 cup diced onion (optional)
3 cups water - for cooking potatoes and carrots, save the cooking water to add some to the blender
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 Tablespoon tahini (optional)
1 Tablespoon miso paste (optional)
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric (optional)
salt and pepper to taste (start with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Boil potatoes, carrots and onion in water in a saucepan on top of the stove for about 10 minutes until the vegetables are tender. While the vegetables are cooking, place the other cheese sauce ingredients in a blender. Transfer the hot cooked vegetables with a slotted spoon to the blender. Add one cup of the hot water from the pan, Since the vegetables and water are hot, loosely place the top on the blender. Blend carefully, adding more hot water a little at a time to get a good sauce consistency. (About 1 1/2 cups water.)

Stir the sauce into the cooked and drained macaroni. At this point it could be ready to eat. If desired, spread into a 9x13" baking dish and bake at 350f for about 30 minutes. Sprinkle optional chopped nut topping on during the last 5 minutes of baking.

Parmesan "Cheese" Topping (optional)
1/2 c cashews (or other nuts)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt

Blend nuts, "nooch" and salt in blender to a finely chopped consistency being careful not to over-blend and end up with nut butter.

* * *
There are many ways to make the cheeze sauce. Instead of the carrots, use sweet potato or roasted red bell pepper. For richer flavor, add a half cup cashews or other nuts.

Instead of macaroni, use the cheese sauce on top of baked potato with steamed broccoli, or with rice and beans.

Vegetable Mac and Cheese Variation: Use 8 oz. pasta, 2 cups steamed cauliflower, 2 cups steamed broccoli, 1/2 cup diced steamed carrots, 1 1/2 cups diced baked potato.

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