Vegan Mac ‘n’ Cheese

I remember making my very first Kraft dinner when I was 10 years old. I was very proud of myself and was so delighted eating it! Being Filipino, I grew up eating a lot of rice so when I came to Canada, I was very happy to try all types of pastas! I’ve always been an Italian food lover. With plenty of changes happening in my life the past couple of months, I have been craving my comfort foods. Can you guess what they are? 

Yes! It’s all types of pastas and pizza! Yikes! With a gluten-free and mostly dairy-free diet, craving these foods can be a nightmare. It’s a good thing I now know how to make all foods a little healthier and guilt-free for my own delight and comfort. Now I share these tips and secrets with you for those days when you really just need to eat what makes you happy! Try this simple dish and let me know how much you like it!

Vegan Mac 'n' Cheese
Serves 4
gluten-free, dairy-free and guilt-free comfort food
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  1. 200g quinoa elbow macaroni
For the Cashew Cream Sauce
  1. 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in 2 cups water overnight
  2. 1 cup filtered water
  3. 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  4. 2 tsp onion powder
  5. 1 tsp granulated garlic or 1 clove garlic
  6. TT sea salt
For the Topping
  1. 1 cup almond meal
  2. 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  3. 2 tsp lemon zest
  4. 2 tsp smoked paprika
  5. 1 tsp granulated garlic
  6. 1 tsp onion powder
  7. 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  8. 2 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley (OR 2 tsp dried parsley)
  9. 1/2 tsp sea salt
  10. 1/4 cup olive oil
  1. Cook the macaroni as per box instructions. After draining the pasta, place back in the pot and mix in the sauce (at this point I don't turn the heat back on as the hot pasta will warm up the sauce, but you most certainly can heat it up on low heat if you want it hotter!). Season with salt to taste.
  2. Place in a bowl and top with topping mix. Eat and enjoy!
For the Cashew Cream Sauce
  1. Drain the cashews and rinse with water. Place in a blender with fresh filtered water and the rest of the ingredients. Blend until smooth and creamy. Add salt to taste. If the sauce feels too thick, add more water as needed, about a tablespoon at a time.
For the Topping
  1. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and mix. Place on a parchment lined baking tray or in a pyrex bakeware.
  2. Bake at 350F for 7-10 minutes or until golden brown. (I usually check at 5 minutes just in case and then I toss it around with a fork).
Great Tip!
  1. To save time, while I wait for the water to boil for the pasta, I preheat my oven and then start making the sauce. Once the sauce is ready, I leave that in the blender and then I start preparing the topping. By that time, the water should be boiling and you can prepare your pasta at the same time the topping is baking!
The Bella Life
It’s all in the sauce!!

Top it up with some crunch goodness!

Enjoy!! ๐Ÿ˜€

Mac & Cheese

Bella’s Notes
  • TT means to taste 
  • If you forget to soak the cashews overnight but you want to make it the same day, you can place the cashews in a pot with water, bring it up to a boil and turn down to a simmer. Simmer the cashews for exactly 15 minutes. Drain and cool down with cold water and blend with the rest of the ingredients
  • Panko bread crumbs can replace almond meal, I just use almond meal to make it gluten-free
  • Make sure you buy nutritional yeast, it’s a yellow flakey looking inactive yeast. My sister made the mistake of using regular yeast once and it was gross. Lol. Just a warning!
  • If using cheese, you probably won’t need nutritional yeast and it will be vegetarian and gluten-free recipe not vegan
  • I like the Frontier Natural Product brand for dry granulated garlic and onion powder as it has no added starch to it and it’s organic! It also taste better in my opinion!

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