Vegan Mac + Cheese

Oh glorious, beautiful Friday!  How I love you so 🙂

This week has been amazing and I am so grateful for every single day of my life – whether it brings with it life, loss, or simply clarity.

It isn’t my place to go into detail, but there was a loss of a friend this week that I am still processing (his family has created a fund in his honor (click for link).  If you’d like to donate, it would be extremely meaningful to them) .  Above all, what I am learning from this is that truly have the best friends on the planet.  Our ability to put everything else aside and focus on sheer love for the family and each other has left me in awe.

“Oh heart, if one should say to you that the soul perishes like the body, answer that the flower withers, but the seed remains.”   – Kahlil Gibran

With so much happening emotionally this week, I’m glad to see the weekend.

The only thing actually on the agenda for this weekend is a raw food dinner that Ben chose for his birthday tomorrow night! We’ll be hanging out all night with the awesome people at Maui Kombucha for their Fiesta de Abril Dinner Club event [I’m not a huge fan of Kombucha, but I am a huge fan of Chris and the gang!] in Ha`iku.  Yeah, get ready for an awesome review on a night full of raw food and all the kombucha this girl can stomach!  🙂

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a wicked awesome vegan Mac+Cheeze recipe I got from Angela over at Oh She Glows.  I was totally going to mess with the recipe a bit, but as it turns out, the girl totally gets my taste and I didn’t have to change a thing aside from using less salt (yeah, seriously.  That’s rare).

I rarely eat pasta (because my body doesn’t like gluten very much) but we used brown rice pasta for this dish, which made it perfect for me!  Ben loved it too, but was nice enough to allow me to eat more than my fair share :).  We did get some to Mom to try, and she agrees – it’s bomb.  Definitely a keeper.

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Mac + Cheeze

vegan + gluten-free

[Ingredients]

  • 1/2 butternut squash – peeled + chopped (~3.5 cups raw)
  • 3/4 c raw unsalted cashews
  • 1 c non-dairy milk [I used unsweetened almond milk] + more to thin out
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6-7 Tbsp nutritional yeast [provides the cheesy consistency]
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp or a bit more of dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp tumeric powder, optional
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp paprika + more to season
  • pasta of choice [I used an entire bag of brown rice shells]
  • peas or broccoli or other fun pasta veggies

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1. [Bake Yo’ Squash]

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Season chopped squash with ~1 tsp olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper, then stir.

Bake on a non-stick or lined baking sheet for 30-40 minutes, or until tender, stirring half way through.

2. [Make da Cheeze]

Process the cashews in a food processor until fine crumbs form [similar to corn meal].

Add in non-dairy milk, garlic, lemon, salt, nutritional yeast, pepper, mustard, and the seasonings and process until smooth.

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Once the squash is done, add it into the food processor and blend until smooth [the sauce will thicken with time and you can use milk to thin it, if necessary].  Taste-test one of the most delicious sauces you’ve ever had the pleasure of creating (you think I’m kidding).

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3. [Boil Yo’ Pasta]

Umm, you should know how to do this.  Put the drained pasta back into the pot it boiled in.  [I also put an entire bag of frozen peas into the boiling pasta for the last few minutes to thaw out.  They were perfect.]

4. [Eat ‘Em Up]

Add your cheeze sauce and veggies to the pasta and stir well.

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Enjoy! Makes four to six meal-sized portions.

The best part?  I didn’t use all the cheeze, which meant we had sauce leftover!

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Ben used it to top some tortilla chips, salsa, and kidney beans the next day to make vegan Na-Chews (get it?), and I used it to top roasted broccoli!  🙂

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

What’s your favorite vegan recipe?

Aloha Pumehana. Whether you’re here to find balance, wholesome recipes or inspiration, I hope you enjoy the posts.  Please subscribe to Green Plate Dinners to receive automatic updates and be the first to read new posts!

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4 thoughts on “Vegan Mac + Cheese

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