This past weekend, we had an ice storm. And I have to admit that I loved being stuck inside, forced to cozy up by the Christmas tree with a Christmas movie and a warm drink-- especially so close to Christmas. I actually hate cold weather A LOT but this time, I loved the idea of being forced to slow down from the business of the season and just relax.
With the holiday season in full force and only a few days until Christmas, I wanted to share what is perhaps my favorite vegan recipe....ever. This baked macaroni and cheese is SO simple, SO delicious and MUCH healthier than regular macaroni and cheese. This recipe is perfect for anyone who is looking to dip their toes into eating vegan, someone who is dairy-free and misses creamy macaroni and cheese or someone who is looking to stay healthy while eating delicious food.
This recipe was inspired by a macaroni and cheese recipe by Hot for Food (which you can check out HERE). Hot For Food is my favorite food blog, and they are such a fantastic vegan resource. Please check them out!
- 3 cups uncooked macaroni noodles (To make gluten-free, use gluten-free noodles)
- 3/4 cup of raw cashews, soaked overnight or at least for 3 hours **
- 1 1/2 cup of almond milk (unsweetened)
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast **
- 1 Tbsp of soy sauce (To make gluten-free, use tamari or gluten-free soy sauce)
- 1 tsp of onion powder
- 1 tsp of garlic powder
- 1 tsp of salt
- 1 tsp of pepper
- 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
- 2 Tbsp of Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp of corn starch
- Breadcrumbs (To make gluten-free, use gluten-free bread crumbs)
Here's What You Do:
- Preheat the oven to 325 F.
- Boil water and cook the macaroni noodles until aldente.
- In a blender, blend the almond milk, oil, soy sauce, Dijon mustard and lemon juice.
- Then, add in the onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, nutritional yeast and corn starch. Blend well.
- Drain the cashews from the water they were soaking in. Add to the blender and blend until smooth.
- Drain the cooked pasta. Place in casserole dish.
- Pour sauce from blender over the pasta and mix thoroughly.
- Cover with aluminium foil and cook for 20 minutes.
- Add a generous amount of bread crumbs to the top of the pasta. Place back in the oven, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
**Notes: If you can only find salted cashews, they will work, too! Also, we had used cashews that have soaked for far less time (think 30 minutes) and it alters the texture a bit, but the flavor is still really good. If you're going to be cooking vegan, you may want to just always have a jar of cashews soaking in the fridge because they come in so handy!
Nutritional yeast is a type of "spice" if you will, that sounds gross, but is so delicious. It has a cheesy, creamy flavor, and is great for replacing cheese in recipes. Nutritional Yeast is high in B12, which many people are deficient in, and is a much healthier, fat-free alternative to using cheese.