It is not very difficult to make ‘vegan’ macaroni and cheese IF you’re willing to use some kind of cheese substitute that is heavily processed and full of oils. But creating a tasty Mac & Cheese sauce that also meets the ‘One Ingredient Diet’ standards has been a challenge. This specific recipe, however, passes the test: it’s creamy, flavorful, and made entirely with whole foods.
Finally a healthy Mac & Cheese that adults will enjoy as much as the kids!
Makes 4 servings
- 1 (16 oz) package whole wheat elbow macaroni
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon vinegar (white wine, apple cider, etc.)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup soy milk
- Sun-dried tomatoes (optional)
- Chopped basil (optional)
Add the cashews, nutritional yeast, garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, pepper, and part of the soy milk to a food processor. Blend until smooth.
At this point, you have a killer cheese spread that would go great on crackers (try it sometime!) but for our Mac & Cheese sauce, it probably needs more liquid in order to coat the pasta. Use your judgement to add more soy milk and blend until the mixture is creamy but not runny. It’s best to make it a little too thick because you can always add more milk when mixing with the macaroni.
Ideally, you would refrigerate this sauce for several hours before using. This allows the flavors to meld together and the sauce is improved. But if you’re in a hurry, feel free to make the sauce and pasta at the same time – you won’t notice much of a difference.
Cook the macaroni according to package instructions. It should only take about 10 minutes. When fully cooked, drain through a colander and pour the pasta into a large mixing bowl.
Take the cheese sauce and toss it into the macaroni. This may take several minutes, as the sauce will clump together until warmed by the pasta. Keep tossing lightly until all the macaroni is evenly coated. Again, if it feels too thick, you can add a little more soy milk.
You can (optionally) top with black pepper, sun-dried tomatoes, basil or parsley. These can add a lot of color and flavor, so feel free to experiment with what works best for you.
NOTE: The garlic flavor is fairly mild when mixed with the pasta, and it works perfectly in this sauce, but if you’re making this for kids and they may not like garlic, feel free to use only one clove or even omit it all together.
It’s that easy! A healthy, 20-minute Macaroni & Cheese that the whole family will love.