Creamy, Delicious Mac N Cheese
My favorite Mac N Cheese of all time is Velveeta shells and cheese. It’s not plant based, I am pretty sure it’s mostly petroleum based or chemical based or some combination there of, but it’s also delicious and reminds me of my childhood. Unfortunately, because I mostly avoid processed foods, when I do eat them I feel almost hung over the next day. I’m foggy headed and bloated and tired. So I’ve stopped eating it but I’m not going to lie, I miss it like hell. So I came up with a recipe that scratches that itch for a creamy, decadent sauce over pasta that doesn’t give me a chemical hang over. Bonus: It’s super fast and easy to make. If you want to skip the bread crumb topping, the whole thing takes as long as it takes to boil water and pasta.
Adapted from My Brain
- 1 lb of elbow macaroni or shells pasta (or whatever shape you want really)
- 2 cups of raw cashew meats
- 2 cups of water
- 2 Tablespoons light miso paste
- 2 Tablespoons tahini
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 3/4 cup of nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 cup of Panko bread crumbs
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 Tablespoons of pine nuts, ground into meal (you can use a blender or a spice mill)
- 1-3 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
- Olive Oil
- In a blender or food processor add cashews and blend until they are mealy. Then add water, miso, tahini, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, Dijon mustard, garlic cloves, turmeric, paprika, and oregano. Blend until it is smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust the salt as needed. This is your cheese sauce!
- Over medium high heat, heat 2 Tablespoons of olive oil and then add the minced garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, cooking until fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute. Then lower heat to medium, add Panko bread crumbs and toast until the bread crumbs are golden brown. Then turn off the heat and mix in the ground pine nuts until well combined.
- Put a large salty pot of water on to boil and follow the cooking instructions on your pasta. Strain the pasta and then put it back in the pot over the stove over low heat. Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta and mix until combined and warmed through. The heat from the pasta should heat the cheese sauce so you shouldn’t need to keep it on the stove for more than a couple minutes. You don’t want the cheese sauce to dry out or burn.
- Serve mac n cheese topped with bread crumb mixture and crushed red pepper flakes.