Healthy Vegan Mac n' Cheese

I know, I know, I just turned my website into "alittlebaker" so what is this non-baked savory food business!? 

Well, fun fact: sometimes the baker has to eat food that doesn't contain sugar or chocolate in the list of ingredients. Somehow adding a can of cannelloni or black beans to some cookies or brownies doesn't cut it for the protein and vitamins that our bodies need to survive.

. . . . . . .

For us lactose intolerants, cheese is a monster.
So how do we comfort ourselves without the monster?

Sure, there's cashews..but what if I'm too lazy to whip out my food processor? What if they are not in my budget? And what if I don't want a meal loaded in fat, though cashews are a "good fat."

Allow me to introduce you to the combo of cauliflower + pumpkin + nutritional yeast used to produce a creamy, "cheesy" flavored low-fat and delicious bowl of lactose-free mac n' cheese. 

. . . . . . .

A little on the health benefits of these ingredients:
Cauliflower-high in vitamin C, B-complex vitamins, and has anti-cancer properties
Pumpkin-good for the digestive system, immunity, and prevention of heart disease
Nutritional Yeast-a vegan's best source of vitamin b12, also high in fiber and protein 

For more info:

Is a comfort food still a comfort food if it's good for you? 
Yes!
The comfort is knowing your doing something to make your body happy.


Vegan Mac n' Cheese 
Adapted from: With An Open Mind
Yield: 2 servings
Click here for full printable recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pasta (whole wheat or gluten-free)
  • 1 bay leaf 
  • 2 cups cauliflower, cut into teeny-tiny pieces
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon coconut or olive oil 
  • 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast 
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder 
  • 1 teaspoon dried or fresh oregano 
  • salt and pepper to taste 
  • 1 cup spinach or chopped kale 


Method:

1. Cook pasta with the bay leaf according to package directions. When it has 3-4 minutes remaining, stir in the cauliflower.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the pumpkin puree, oil, nutritional yeast, non-dairy milk, minced garlic, and spices. Place over medium heat and whisk constantly for two minutes.
3. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the strained pasta and cauliflower, along with the spinach or kale.

Dinner is served.

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Maira Gall