Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Vegan & Gluten-Free Cashew Mac & Cheese

We love Mac & Cheese! After seeing vegan recipes floating around the internet, we were intrigued by the use of cashews and nutritional yeast to create a creamy cheese sauce. After finding a base recipe from Detoxinista, we tried it out and put our own spin on it to create this Vegan & Gluten-Free Cashew Mac & Cheese. In our opinion, it does have a creamy cheese flavor but, not the same cheesy taste as the traditional dish. This dish is extremely delicious, creamy and full of flavor. It is healthy and contains many nutritious ingredients that aren't in regular mac & cheese. Try it out for yourself!



 Start off by soaking three quarter cups of raw cashews in water for 15 minutes. While those are soaking, take two cups of brown rice pasta and cook according to package. Set aside.


Thinly dice up a third cup of white onion and fry in a pan on medium heat with a quarter teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil until they brown. Set aside. 


Once the cashews are finished soaking, place them in a blender or food processor and blend until processed. 


Add in a quarter cup plus two tablespoons of water, one and a half tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice, two tablespoons of nutritional yeast, one small minced garlic clove, three quarter teaspoon of sea salt, a quarter teaspoon of chili powder and a quarter teaspoon of spicy dijon mustard. Blend until smooth.


In a bowl, mix together cooked pasta, one cup of chopped baby spinach, one cup of chopped mushrooms and cashew sauce. Transfer mixture to a baking dish, top with fried onions and bake for 20 minutes at 350°F.


 Remove from oven and serve. 


Vegan & Gluten-Free Cashew Mac & Cheese
Makes 2 servings

Adapted from Detoxinista

Ingredients:

3/4 cups Raw cashews
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp Water
1 1/2 tbsp Freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp Nutritional yeast
1 Small garlic clove, minced
3/4 tsp Sea salt
1/4 tsp Chili powder
1/4 tsp Spicy dijon mustard
1 cup Mushrooms, diced
1 cup Baby spinach, chopped
2 cups Brown rice pasta, uncooked
1/3 cup White onion, thinly diced
1/4 tsp Extra virgin olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Cook pasta according to directions on package. Set aside.
  3. Soak Cashews in water for 10 minutes.
  4. While cashews are soaking, heat up a frying pan on medium heat, drizzle with olive oil and add white onions. Cook until browned and set aside. 
  5. Add cashews to blender or food processor and blend until cashews are processed. 
  6. Add water, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, garlic, sea salt, chili powder and dijon mustard. Blend until smooth. 
  7. In a bowl, mix together pasta, mushrooms, spinach and cashew sauce. Transfer mixture into a baking dish, top with fried onions and bake for 20 minutes. 
  8. Remove from oven and serve. 
Makes 2 servings. Each serving is approximately 495 calories.