Vegan Mac ‘n Cheese

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It’s been a few days since I last posted hasn’t it? I’ve been caught up in doing research for TVP for you that I let my other posts suffer, and for that I apologize. You know how you’re looking for something and then you find something really interesting that’s sort of related to your research and then you click on that and somehow you ended up clicking on so many other different interesting links that’s led you down the rabbit hole and then you realize two hours has gone by? Yep. That happened to me. So, shall we get caught up?

Monday the little one wasn’t feeling too great. I had something else planned for dinner that night but changed my mind. I didn’t want to put anything too heavy on his stomach, so I made a family favorite: mac ‘n cheese!

I found the recipe on One Green Planet…surprise! It’s been one that I go to all the time if I want to make mac ‘n cheese.

Mac ‘n cheese conjures up Kraft macaroni and cheese in the blue box from my childhood. When I was a kid, the color was nuclear yellow. I remember always having it at a friends house with some hotdogs chopped up in it, and we thought that was a real treat. Nowadays, I think the yellow coloring, so synonymous with my youth and everyone else’s, is a huge no-no. Besides the coloring, it’s LOADED down with a bunch of milk, has LOADS of salt and who know what else. According to Health Canada, anyone from 14-50 should have a salt intake of 1,500mg/day. If you look at the nutritional facts on the box of Kraft mac ‘n cheese, there’s 570mg of salt. Great! You’re within your daily recommended value of salt! But wait a minute. That’s 570mg of salt for 1/3 of the box, and there’s 3 servings in a box. Now, I don’t know about you but when we were kids we made the whole box and ate all of it. So, if you have the whole box, that’s 1,710mg of salt. I could be reading Health Canada’s table completely wrong, but the whole point is that there is a bunch of junk in a box of mac ‘n cheese. I understand that it’s super quick to make. When you’ve come home late and everyone is hungry, it’s easy because all you do is cook your pasta and toss in the packet of cheese powder. My friends, I have the vegan and healthy equivalent! This recipe is easy too!!

Right off the bat, I’m going to tell you to soak your cashews if you don’t want a really chunky cheese sauce. I soaked mine 30min before I started to cook everything. If you like yours chunky, then skip this step.

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When you’re ready to start cooking, put your pasta on. I ended up doing two: gluten-free and regular. Then toss everything in your blender. Yep. It’s that easy. Toss in your cashews, nooch, garlic, milk (I used soy), turmeric, tahini, and so on. The two things I didn’t add were lemon juice and cayenne pepper.

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Even though I soaked my cashews, the cheese sauce still ended up being quite thick. All you have to do is keep adding a bit of milk until the consistency is what you want.

If you only have one pot of pasta going, drain it and add in your sauce and mix everything. I had to divide the sauce between the two pots I had going on.

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After you’ve mixed everything, taste it to make sure it’s seasoned the way you want. The tahini can lend quite a powerful flavor to the dish for little mouths.

This recipe is REALLY easy to make and takes probably about the same amount of time to cook as a box of Kraft mac ‘n cheese. However, this option is WAY healthier for you and the kids. The cashews, nooch, and tahini packs this dish with protein. Trust me when I say this, you won’t have that much left and you will be stuffed. But you’ll be stuffed with all kinds of healthy goodness and none of the mysterious chemicals and concoctions that Kraft has.

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