Who doesn’t love a good macaroni and cheese? It’s the quintessential comfort food. This macaroni and cashew cheese doesn’t have the same neon orange color of the food of my childhood, but it’s way more delicious. The surprise is that not only is it tasty and comforting; it’s also healthy, with cashews offering the creaminess of cheese. You can use whatever vegetables you have on hand, but bright green broccoli makes a nice contrast. This recipe appears in my book, MeatLess: Transform the Way You Eat and Live — One Meal at a Time, published by Da Capo Press, 2017.
Time: 20 minutes
1 pound of your favorite pasta (macaroni or shells work great)
1 head broccoli, cauliflower, or your favorite vegetable, cut into florets or small pieces
Cheese sauce ingredients:
1-1/4 cups raw cashews (if you have time to prepare in advance, soak them for an hour to overnight for a creamier sauce)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1-1/2 cups plain, unsweetened soy or almond milk
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/8 cup yellow miso
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Prepare the pasta according to package instructions. When 5 minutes remain in cook time, add in broccoli, cauliflower, or other vegetables. Drain, rinse, and pour into a casserole dish. Set aside.
Meanwhile grind the cashews into a powder in a high speed blender or food processor. Add the nutritional yeast, onion powder, salt, and garlic powder and blend thoroughly.
Add the soy or almond milk, oil, miso, and lemon juice and blend until smooth, scraping sides to ensure it’s thoroughly combined.
Toss cheese sauce over pasta and veggies and sprinkle with paprika. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
Pro-Tip: Crumble crushed walnuts or panko bread crumbs over the top before baking for a fancier mac.