Vegan Mac and Cheese

I haven’t posted a recipe in forever, as I had determined I’m definitely not a food blogger. So I didn’t take pics as I made this, but, I just had to share the recipe because I really enjoyed it.

I’ve tried a few different healthier macaroni and cheese recipes over the years, but this one won over my meat eating husband and sometimes picky 6 year old daughter. My husband couldn’t believe there wasn’t any dairy in this recipe (AND no vegan cheese ‘product’ like Daiya).🙌

Just a few notes about this…I’m terrible about following recipes and often just do my own thing and use a recipe as a general guide. Also, this is most definitely not Candida safe….after April I was given the go-ahead to start introducing those off limits foods and am struggling again. So although I’m good at not eating added sugars, the gluten free starches are a problem for me and cause me unbelievable discomfort. I think I will be battling this for life unfortunately. It’s hard to find that balance. That being said, this recipe tastes great!


I started out by boiling a few chopped red skin potates (left skin on), then once they were somewhat soft I dumped them into a pan with some avocado oil and sautéed them with the carrots, onions, tomatoes and garlic. In a separate pot I cooked 16oz of gluten free pasta. Then I dumped the cooked veggie mix plus maybe a cup or so of water, and the remaining ingredients into the blender and puréed until smoothe. Then I mixed that into the pot of cooked pasta and stirred to coat evenly. I steamed some broccoli and added it when serving. Done! I sprinkled mine with a little crushed red pepper. I doubled the recipe below. I’d suggest less ground pepper if you don’t like spicy food. I wish I knew where I found this recipe! If I find it, I’ll link 😊.

Vegan Mac & Cheese

INGREDIENTS:

2¼ cups water

1 medium potato (about 1 cup) or use ¾ cup mashed potatoes (I used maybe 6-7 organic red skin potatoes)

⅓ cup chopped carrots

4 garlic cloves or 1 tsp garlic powder

2 tbsp chopped onion or use ½ tsp onion powder

½ green chili (optional)

½ medium tomato, chopped

½ to 1 tsp prepared mustard

2 tsp soy sauce or liquid aminos (I omitted)

3 to 4 tbsp nutritional yeast

2 to 3 tsp lemon juice

2 tbsp avocado oil (omit to make oil free)

⅓ tsp paprika

½ tsp sriracha (optional)

¾ tsp or more salt

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

8 oz elbows pasta, cooked to preference

1 cup broccoli, chopped

INSTRUCTIONS

In a skillet, add water, potato, carrots, garlic, onion, chili and tomato. Cover and cook over medium-high heat for 17 to 19 minutes or until the potato is very tender and breaks easily. (add 2 Tbsp cashews for creamier sauce). Cool slightly.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta to aldente. (in parallel with the above step if you like).

Add the potato carrot mixture to a blender with the rest of the ingredients. Blend until smooth. taste and adjust salt and spice.

Transfer to the pan over medium heat. Add salt, white pepper, ⅓ tsp black pepper. Mix in. Bring to a boil. Carefully taste and adjust salt, cheesiness (add more nutritional yeast if needed).

Add the cooked pasta and broccoli or other veggies. Mix in. Cover and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the sauce comes to a good boil and thickens.

Let it sit for 5 minutes. Mix in the rest of the freshly ground black pepper (1/2 to ⅔ tsp). Sprinkle more pepper if you wish and serve/

NOTES

For creamier sauce or variation: Add tbsp cashews, or 1-2 Tbsp sesame seeds or pumpkin seeds with the potato and carrots or add a tbsp of flour to the blended sauce.

If you like your broccoli and veggies a bit cooked, add them to the pasta pot, 5 minutes before the pasta will be taken off heat. Drain both and keep aside.

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Kung Pao Cauliflower

IMAG5749Although I’m not vegan or vegetarian anymore, I still gravitate towards those types of recipes and eat that way most of the time. This is another great recipe I came across that I think would please everyone in the family! Of course, hold the pepper flakes if you’re not fan of spicy food. I actually added a little sriracha, because I think the hotter the better!

Ingredients

  • 1 large cauliflower head, cut into small floret pieces
  • 1 red organic pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow organic pepper, diced
  • 1 orange organic pepper, diced
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 scallion, cut 2” in lengths
  • 1/3 cup raw cashews
  • 1 tsp pepper flakes, optional
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (I used coconut oil)
  • 1 lb rice noodles (any other type of noodles will work. I used Thai Kitchen rice noodles.)

**I added kidney beans for some additional protein, as well as some sesame seeds.

For the sauce (I plan to make more of the sauce for next time.)

  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce, gluten free
  • 2 tbsp unrefined sugar (I added a little honey instead)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tsp arrowroot powder

DIRECTIONS:

Cook noodles according to package instructions. Mix the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

In a large non-stick skillet, over medium heat, place the olive oil over medium to high heat. Add the cauliflower, and cook stirring occasionally for 5 minutes until the cauliflower as cooked a bit. It will not be cooked throughly, as you will add it later on with the other veggies. Take the cauliflower out into a large plate and set aside.

Add the diced peppers to the skillet. Cook for 3 minutes. Add the cauliflower back to the skillet and cook with the peppers stirring occasionally for another 5 minutes until the veggies are almost cooked through but not mushy. Add the garlic, ginger and cashews and cook further for 2 minutes. At this point add the sauce to the skillet and cook for 1 minute over high heat or until thickened. Add the spring onions and serve over the noodles while still warm.

Original recipe credit: Eat Good 4 Life

Slow Cooker Enchilada Quinoa Bake

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Even if you normally don’t like meatless dishes, you should try this one! This is an excellent “Meatless Monday” dish. I’m not a fan of cooking grains (or grain-like) in the slow cooker because it generally takes longer than the recipes say. That was true for me in this case, but I added a bit more liquid and let it cook for a little longer and it turned out great!

Slow Cooker Enchilada Quinoa Bake – Yield: About 7 – 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil of choice
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped yellow onion (1 medium)
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped red bell pepper (1 medium)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups dry quinoa
  • 2 1/4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
  • 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen organic corn
  • 1 1/2 cups cheddar or monterey jack, or Mexican blend cheese
  • For serving: Diced avocados, diced Roma tomatoes, chopped cilantro, lime wedges, chopped green onions (optional)

Directions

Heat canola oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper and saute 3 minutes. Add garlic and saute 30 seconds longer. Pour mixture into a slow cooker. Stir in quinoa, vegetable broth, canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili powder and cumin and season wtih salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook on HIGH heat about 2 hours 45 minutes – 3 hours 15 minutes (cook time can vary because all slow cookers cook a little differently so just keep an eye on it near the end to make sure it’s neither getting soggy or drying out near the edges). Add corn, black beans and pinto beans and toss mixture. Even top then sprinkle with cheese. Cover and cook until heated through and cheese has melted about 10 – 15 minutes longer. Serve warm with desired toppings.

My Suggestions / Notes

  • Cooking oil – I used Kirkland’s Organic Coconut oil since it’s high heat safe, cold-pressed, un-refined, and non-GMO.
  • For the seasoning, I skipped the chili powder and cumin and used 2Tbsp + 1.5tsp of my homemade taco seasoning instead. It turned out super spicy, which my husband and I love! I would go with the original recipe or even a little less than what is called for if you don’t like spicy. I portioned out some and watered it down in a bowl and drained it to get rid of most of the spicy-ness for our daughter who loved it!
  • I thought I had some vegetable broth on hand and realized I was out after I dumped the peppers/onion/garlic into the slow cooker, so I just used water. With all the seasoning, I can’t imagine the broth would have added that much to it anyway. I’m sure I’ll be making it again though so I may try it with next time.
  • I skipped the cheese and thought the flavor was still great!
  • I cook dried beans and freeze them on parchment paper, then store in freezer bags until I need them. That way, I can just take what I need and they don’t all stick together when they freeze. I just took out the a can worth of each type of bean and added it to the slow cooker near the end of cooking and let them heat up.

Recipe from: Cooking Classy