If you are a Mac N’ Cheese fan, you are going to simply love this uber healthy version. It is gluten-free, low in sugar, dairy-free, and choc full of protein. My Healthy Vegan Mac N’ Cheese is sure to become a family favorite, particularly if there as those among you who want or need to stay away from dairy.
I have chosen to use quinoa noodles on account of their high protein content, however, you could use another gluten-free (or regular), noodle if you prefer. I only ask that if you use a regular noodle, you make sure that it is whole wheat because, as we know, white refined paste will spike your blood sugar.
You can make this dish a little creamier by watering down the cashew sauce with a little more stock or adding 1 cup of silken tofu. It depends how you like it – I happen to like mine quite dry, whereas my daughter wants it super creamy.
If you aren’t bothered by the protein thing (meaning you don’t necessarily need or want extra protein, just omit the pea protein powder).
- 3⁄4 c raw cashew pieces
- 10 oz quinoa pasta
- 2 c low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 c butternut squash puree
- 1⁄2 c pea protein powder
- 3 tb nutritional yeast
- 1 tb dijon mustard
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1⁄2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1⁄2 tsp salt
- 1 c silken tofu (if you want a creamier dish)
Ingredients for Breadcrumb Topping
- 1 1⁄4 C whole-wheat or gluten-free Panko breadcrumbs
- 2 Tb nutritional yeast
- 2 Tb hulled hemp seeds
- 2 Tb Olive oil
- 1⁄2 tsp salt
- Cover cashews with 2 inches hot water. Soak 20 minutes (or overnight), or until softened. Drain, and discard water.
- Cook pasta 2 to 3 fewer minutes than package directions. Drain, and rinse under cold water in colander.
- Preheat oven to 400 Fahrenheit, and coat 11 x 7 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Puree cashews, broth, butternut puree, pea powder, nutritional yeast, mustard, garlic powder, turmeric, and salt in blender until smooth. If using silken tofu, add it to your blender now. Transfer to bowl, and stir in pasta. Pour into prepared baking dish.
To Make Breadcrumb Topping
- Toss together all ingredients in bowl.
- Spread topping over pasta, and cover with foil.
- Bake for 20 minutes.