Vegan Mac and Cheesy Goodness with Green Chillis
People of the internet, I am sure that you are just as obsessed with pasta as I am. I mean, not only is it delicious but it’s an easy dish to whip up using items from your pantry on those nights where you should have gone to the grocery store but the day got way too crazy. It’s also a super versatile meal so it can satisfy a plethora of dietary choices. You can use the type of pasta, veggies, sauce, protein, and toppings that both you and your family enjoy. In our house, I eat a gluten free plant-based diet while my husband eats everything. So I will use brown rice pasta, marinara (sometimes homemade or other times I use a low-sodium organic sauce from the store that I add my own flair to), the veggies that we have on hand (broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, mushrooms, onions, lentils are some examples), and I add some chickpeas for protein. I might serve it just like that with salad or cook up some organic, free-range chicken breast for my husband. But sometimes you just want some comfort food from your childhood and what better than mac and cheese! And, as a vegan, you can still enjoy this dish. You just gotta rethink the ingredients and cashews will be your new best friend.
The secret to this sauce (or to cooking in general) is to always taste as you go and to season to your liking. Think of a recipe as more of a guideline and add other spices or ingredients that you like and think will make the dish better. You are not bound to the measurements so use your intuition and gut when you cook and your food will turn out amazing!
(Baking can be a bit tricky since the measurements have to be more exact to bake/rise properly)
Vegan Mac and Cheese with Green Chillis
Escape adulthood for an evening by making this gooey, creamy, and delicious mac and cheese using plant based ingredients. Use brown rice pasta to turn this dish gluten-free. Pair with fuzzy socks, a cozy blanket, and SpongeBob Squarepants episodes on Amazon Video.
One 16 oz pack of brown rice spirals (I used these from Tinkyada)
½ white onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup raw cashews (cover with boiling water for 20-30 minutes to soften or soak overnight in the fridge)
½ cup cooked potato
1 ½ cups vegetable broth (I used low-sodium to control the salt levels of the dish)
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp mustard
1 lemon (juiced)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
½ tsp paprika
¾ tsp chili powder
⅓ cup nutritional yeast (add more to up the cheesy flavor)
1 4 oz can of diced chills (use half for the sauce and the rest to use as toppings)
Start by cooking the pasta according to package instructions. While the water boils and the pasta cooks, use a medium sized pan to saute the onions and garlic with a bit of olive oil or a splash of veggie stock (medium to high heat). Salt and pepper to taste and cook until translucent about 5-7 minutes. Set aside.
Next, add the onion and garlic mixture to a high-speed blender with the remaining ingredients, adding only half of the green chilies. Blend until smooth (scrape down the sides or add a bit more liquid if the sauce is too thick to blend). *Keep adding ingredients until you like the taste of the sauce*
Once the pasta is done, drain, set aside, and cover with a kitchen towel. Put the now empty pot that you used to boil the pasta back on the stove and add the cashew cheese. Cook on low, while stirring frequently, until it has thickened. Add the pasta noodles to the cheese sauce, along with the remaining green chilies and stir. Serve this deliciousness immediately!
Enjoy my lovelies!
*Recipe adapted from amazing chef Dana, The Minimalist Baker