Lunch/Dinner

Vegan Mac N’ “Cheese”

Today it was a chilly, rainy day here, and I always crave comfort foods on days like these.  I just want to curl up with a warm meal, and a good book.  Who’s with me?  I decided to make a vegan mac n’ cheese recipe to make my day.

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Macaroni and cheese has been a favorite of mine since I was kid. That’s all I wanted to eat! (I know, super healthy right?) I was the kid who never ate much, so when I found something I loved, that’s all I ate (what a pain the ass).  Clearly, I’ve come a long way from that skinny little girl who didn’t like eating.  But, macaroni and cheese has remained a favorite comfort food for me. I’ve always loved that creamy, cheesy sauce.  I went dairy free about 4 years ago, before I went vegan, and have been trying to find the best recipe since.  I’ve tried vegan mac n’ cheese boxes from the grocery store, but I haven’t found any I’ve liked.  I’ve tried many recipes, but they all seem to be missing something.  I came across a recipe on Pinterest, and some of the ingredients used intrigued me!  I decided to try it and was wowed with the flavor.  I LOVE it!

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This sauce has butternut squash AND sweet potato in it – two of my favorite foods.  How could you go wrong?  Plus nutritional yeast, which is packed with B vitamins, and gives us vegans a good cheesy taste, without the dairy.  This is my new go-to recipe for mac n’ “cheese”, so go try it and love it! And, try not to drool on your keyboard over these photos.

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Cook the pasta following the package directions. Drain and return to pan (off heat), sprinkle with salt and set aside. (I put about a tablespoon of vegan butter in my pasta, and stirred until melted for some extra creaminess.)

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I have a little ocd and organized all of my pantry ingredients in mason jars, with labels.

 

While the pasta is cooking, fill a large pot 2/3 full with water and place over high heat. Add the squash and sweet potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook until the veggies are fork-tender, 7-8 minutes. Drain and add to the pitcher of a heat-proof, high-powered blender. Set aside.

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Yummy-ness is coming!

Place a medium sauté pan over medium heat. When hot, add the coconut oil. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for another minute. Add the dry mustard, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Stir. Remove from heat. Pour in the vegetable broth and stir to release any of the browned bits of onion and spices. Pour into blender pitcher. Add coconut milk, nutritional yeast and 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce. Puree until completely smooth. Taste and add additional soy sauce, a teaspoon at a time, to taste, along with more salt and pepper if desired.

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Enjoy!  Side note: this does make a LOT of sauce!  So, when pouring onto your pasta, be careful if you don’t want too much.

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Serves: 2

INGREDIENTS:
1-2 cups pasta
1 1/2 cups cubed butternut squash
1 cup cubed sweet potato
1 1/2 teaspoons coconut oil
1/2 cup onion
1 medium clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt + more to taste
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper + more to taste
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
3/4 cup canned coconut milk (full-fat is best for that creamy sauce)
1/2 teaspoon to 1.5 teaspoons soy sauce, to taste

DIRECTIONS:
Cook the pasta following the package directions. Drain and return to pan (off heat), sprinkle with salt and set aside. (I put about a tablespoon of vegan butter in my pasta, and stirred until melted for some extra creaminess.)
While the pasta is cooking, fill a large pot 2/3 full with water and place over high heat. Add the squash and sweet potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook until the veggies are fork-tender, 7-8 minutes. Drain and add to the pitcher of a heat-proof, high-powered blender. Set aside.
Place a medium sauté pan over medium heat. When hot, add the coconut oil. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for another minute. Add the dry mustard, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Stir. Remove from heat. Pour in the vegetable broth and stir to release any of the browned bits of onion and spices. Pour into blender pitcher. Add coconut milk, nutritional yeast and 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce. Puree until completely smooth. Taste and add additional soy sauce, a teaspoon at a time, to taste, along with more salt and pepper if desired.
Pour sauce over cooked pasta in the pan. Stir gently with a wooden spoon until all of the pasta is coated. Serve.

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Recipe adapted from: Kitchen Treaty

 

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