Vegan Mac N Cheese Aka Creamy Cashew Macaroni
A hearty, stick-to-your-ribs macaroni and "cheese" meal that we all crave sometimes. Perfect comfort food, and for those cold and blustery days and nights of Fall and Winter we all love.
- Ready In:
- 1 (12 ounce) box barilla gluten-free pasta (macaroni or your favorite pasta)
- 3 cups raw unsalted cashews (do not use roasted, salted etc)
- 1 (403 ml) can unsweetened coconut milk, well shaken to mix the liquid and cream portions that tend to separate (about 400mL)
- 1 cup hot boiling water
- 1 vegetable bouillon cube
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1⁄4 - 1⁄2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
- 1 -2 tablespoon rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
- salt and pepper
- Cook pasta as directed on package. Drain and set aside in a large bowl. Cover so it won't dry out.
- Grind cashews in food processor on high speed until relatively smooth. It's okay if the result is rather grainy looking, so long as what you have is mostly a thick paste.
- With processor on low speed, slowly add in the entire can of coconut milk.
- Dissolve the bullion cube in the hot water completely. Again with processor on low speed, slowly pour into the cashew/coconut milk mixture to incorporate fully.
- Add in the garlic and blend.
- Still on slow speed, add in the nutritional yeast, 2TB at a time. Taste after each 2TB to determine the taste that suits you. More nutritional yeast = more cheddar-y type flavor, however, some people do not like the yeast-y flavor it can impart. Add in as much or as little as suits you.
- Add in the vinegar the same way, starting with about 1TB, then adding in more 1tsp at a time, tasting after each tsp to determine what you like. The more vinegar you add, the more "sharp" taste you get. For a very sharp taste, try white vinegar.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Once the sauce is at your satisfaction, pour over the pasta and mix well. Add in water (or make some additional broth) if you prefer a thinner sauce. Refrigerate any leftover sauce.
- I coupled this with some braised spinach (2 bunches of fresh spinach coarsely chopped and sautéed in 2TB olive oil over medium heat for about 3 minutes), that I threw right into the bowl (you can see the spinach in the picture above). Other veggies that would probably pair nicely: peas, braised julienne carrots, steamed broccoli, steamed asparagus tips.
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