Mac & Cheese, Gluten-Free and Vegan

Mac & Cheese

I’ve been wanting to make a gluten-free, dairy-free Mac & Cheese that is actually healthy. Now that I have I’m already thinking of other ideas to spice it up. I plan to serve this at my next Healthy Craving group. If you aren’t concerned with gluten you can use regular whole wheat pasta.

Mac & Cheese (Gluten-free and Vegan)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups gluten-free noodles (uncooked)
  • 2 cups raw cauliflower (diced into small pieces)
  • 1 recipe Faux Cheese Sauce
  • Cooked potatoes, peeled (I used two small red potatoes peeled) plus water

Do

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°
  2. Cook noodles according to package directions. Cauliflower can be steamed separately or cooked with the noodles.
  3. Prepare Faux Cheese Sauce
  4. Mash potatoes, adding water until a smooth texture is reached.
  5. Pour noodles and cauliflower into an 8×8 casserole dish.
  6. Add potatoes to the prepared cheese sauce and whisk well.
  7. Pour cheese sauce into noodles and gently stir until noodles are well coated.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes.

Serve

This looks like very involved dish but it really isn’t that hard. The most difficult part for me is paying attention to the cheese sauce that needs to be whisked continuously. I served this alone but it could easily be a side dish.

While we enjoyed this if you are still hooked on regular ol’ dairy filled mac and cheese you may not be ready for this. It definitely tastes like nutritional yeast. My two-year old loved it. He had 3 servings! I’ve never been a big mac and cheese fan but I liked it too. I wouldn’t try to pull a switcheroo on my teenagers but if you are raising plant-based kids give this a try, they may just find a new favorite.

And now for a few pictures…

mac and cheese

mac and cheese

This kid was really trying to take over my photo shoot. He is pretty hard to resist!

Do you miss Mac & Cheese or have you found an acceptable version since changing your diet?

Faux Cheese Sauce

faux cheese and pico

When we first switched to a plant-based diet, faux cheese sauce became a very important part of our arsenal. We ate a lot of Mexican food (we still do) but it wasn’t the same without all of the cheese we used to add. After a few months we no longer craved the cheese, or faux cheese and rarely made it. It was just an extra step that we usually forgot.

I love making faux cheese sauce for plant-based newbies. They are usually really missing their dairy and this really hits the spot. We don’t love it by itself but it’s great as part of the dish, I also don’t like tomatoes much by them selves but love salsa and tomato based sauces.

Faux Cheese Sauce

Faux Cheese Sauce (Gluten-Free and Vegan)

Ingredients

  • 1/4 c Nutritional Yeast
  • 2 Tbsp rice flour* (wheat flour can be used instead)
  • 1/4 tsp tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt to taste (I used 1/2 tsp)
  • 1/4 tsp cumin**
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder**
  • 1 c plant milk (I use rice or unsweetened almond milk)

*For a thicker sauce add extra flour.**These are optional but best used for a Mexican inspired flavor.

Do

  1. In a medium sauce pan add all dry ingredients and place on medium heat.
  2. Stir with a wisk as dry ingredients are heated and begin to toast. Don’t let them burn!
  3. Once they are warmed and begin to be very fragrant (again, not burnt) add the plant milk and wisk often.
  4. Once sauce becomes thick remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.

Serve

I like this drizzled over potatoes, broccoli, mixed into a casserole, or best yet on nachos. Unlike other recipes I’ve tried this one stays pretty fluid and is versatile enough to use in a number of different recipes. I’ll have more recipes coming using this sauce next month. 🙂

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