The Best Dairy Free Mac + Cheese
Whether you are allergic, sensitive or simply avoiding dairy, giving up a food deeply ingrained in American culture can mean giving up some of your favorite childhood comfort foods. What if we told you, you can bring some of that comfort back to your life with vegetables?
This recipe optimizes staple veggies you are likely to have in your house with the addition of coconut milk, cashews and nutritional yeast to make a creamy sauce that will leave your taste buds smiling and your belly happy.
If you are a vegan household, we encourage you to play with adding nutritional yeast to other meals and snacks! Unlike yeast used for baking, nutritional yeast adds a savory addition with a boost of B12. You can find it in the health food section of most grocery stores. Two brands we commonly see are Bragg’s and Bob’s Red Mill.
Now, don’t let soaking cashews stop you from making this recipe. They need to only soak for 30ish minutes, so if you decide to make this dinner last minute, soak the cashews first and then begin to prep the vegetables and other ingredients. You don’t need the cashews until step 5.
1 cup peeled/diced potatoes (this tastes best with yellow potatoes)
1/4 cup diced carrots
1/3 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup water (we find it best to use some of the liquid from pot of boiled veggies)
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/4 cup coconut milk
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt or more to taste
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 pinch cayenne pepper optional
1 pinch paprika
Soak cashews for at least 30 minutes - 2 hours
Fill a pot with water, bring to a boil and add carrots, onions and potatoes
Boil carrots, onions and potatoes for about 10 minutes or until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork
Cook pasta al dente, according to package directions
Blend all ingredients except pasta in a blender until smooth.
Do a taste test of your sauce. Sometimes we add another tablespoon of nutritional yeast and when we are feeling spicy, some red pepper flakes.
Pour over pasta and enjoy!
Optional: Place mac and cheese in an oven-safe baking dish, mix in green veggies such as spinach or cooked broccoli and top with gluten free bread crumbs or almond flour. Bake at 350ºF for about 15 minutes.