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Vegan Mac and Cheese

Let’s first get this out there: we are not vegan, nor is A Healthy Hint a vegan blog. But– we know that many of our readers have specific dietary needs and preferences, and we are VERY accommodating online pals. Mac and Cheese is not only a childhood staple, but it is a way of life. A light at the end of the culinary tunnel. A beautiful, comforting, delicious meal that never gets old. We wanted to create a spin on this recipe by giving it a vegan twist, and we were thrilled with the results! Can you guess what our key ingredient is?

For this recipe, our key ingredient is: Cashews

Here’s why we care about this recipe:

  • Cashews are a personal favorite nut of ours. They are creamy and delicious, but have a wealth of health benefits as well. Cashews work wonders for the skin. They are rich in zinc, magnesium, iron and selenium which keep your skin functioning and healthy.
  • Cashews are often associated with being high fat which often has a negative connotation. However, this does not mean weight gain. When they are consumed raw and unsalted, they offer a large amount of Omega 3 fatty acids, which actually boost your metabolism to help burn fat.
  • These same fatty acids are crucial to your heart health as well. They lower bad cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol, which is the ‘good’ kind.
  • Cashews = Shiny hair??? What a beautiful reality. Cashew consumption allows our bodies to increase more melanin. This gives our hair a silky appearance. Melanin production is increased with help from the oils found in cashews.

Vegan Mac and Cheese

Servings: 4
Calories: 400kcal

Ingredients

  • 8 oz pasta (we recommend using Banza Chickpea Pasta)
  • 1 cup unsalted raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup cauliflower, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Instructions

  • Place cashews, carrots and cauliflower in a medium saucepan and add enough water to cover completely. 
  • Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes. Take off heat and let sit for 1 hour. 
  • When boiled ingredients are almost done, begin to cook the pasta according to the package. 
  • After an hour, drain any excess liquid from the cashews, carrots and cauliflower and place in a food processor. Add almond milk, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper to food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy. You may need to scrape down the mixture several times.  Continue to blend until it’s a creamy smooth consistency. Add up to ¼ cup more almond milk if needed to get a creamy consistency.
  • Pour sauce over warm pasta and serve immediately. 

Let us know what you think in the comments below!

XO,

Amanda and Christina

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3 Comments

  1. Bniconann says:

    Wow this is so cool! I just gave up mac and cheese because I didn’t want to eat a bunch of cheese but this is an awesome alternative! Thanks for sharing.

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