Cheese is almost always the number one thing that people will say they miss by switching to a plant-based diet/vegan diet. So can you really enjoy macaroni and cheese without the "cheese"? Honestly, this mac and "cheese" is so creamy, comforting and satisfying that you won't miss the kind of cheese that comes from an animal! The secret is walnuts which are not only an exceptionally healthy nut, but also provide that smoothness and richness you expect from a mac and cheese. This recipe is very quick and easy to make - nothing to chop - make the sauce in a blender while the noodles cook - and it's kid-friendly! So enjoy your mac and "cheese"!
Vegan Mac and Cheese
Makes 4 servings
8 oz brown rice macaroni noodles (2 cups dry)
3/4 cup raw walnuts
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup roasted red peppers from a jar
1/4 cup nutritional yeast*
1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot powder
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
Cook noodles according to package directions. While noodles are cooking, place all other ingredients in a high-power blender. Blend until smooth.
When noodles are done, remove from heat, drain, and return to the cooking pot and keep warm by placing a lid on the pot.
Blend the sauce again for 2-3 minutes to warm it. Pour sauce over the cooked noodles and stir to combine. Serve immediately.
Serving suggestion: For a complete meal, add a bag of frozen mixed vegetables to the pot of noodles in the last few minutes of cooking.
*Not familiar with nutritional yeast? Nutritional yeast is a very healthy deactivated yeast packed with B-vitamins, folic acid, selenium, zinc, and protein. It does not in any way resemble or taste like brewers yeast or bread yeast. It is a yellow flake (use the flake kind not the powder if possible) that dissolves into the food you add it to giving that cheese-nut flavor. You can find it at Whole Foods, in health food stores, or buy it online here.