GF Vegan Mac & Cheese

I tried several recipes out there and and this is by far the best one! It’s so good. Best part: You can put it on nachos, enchiladas, use as a dip for veggies, in pita with veggies, on spaghetti squash, I bet it would even go great in a salad (just make it into a thinner sauce by adding water). Oh, the possibilities! I’m not vegan, but I love vegan food. Let’s be honest, I love food. Real, quality ingredients type of food. As if you didn’t know. 😉 This is how it went down. I’m in my 3rd trimester, actually make that I’m having a baby in a month or less and I have apparently been pushing it too hard (ask my midwife, she’ll tell you). I can’t walk too well without getting weekly chiro adjustments, (thank you Dr. Dave! I used to work for him a few years back. Started getting chiro treatments for the first time during my first pregnancy and I’ve never looked back. I love it. How ’bout you?). I’ll spare you the medical details, but let’s just say my pelvis and I don’t get along at. all. during pregnancy. So, add that with a Type A personality who is in school, has a 4-year-old, has to have her house clean, tries to make everything from scratch, started her own business (that would be this right here ladies and gents. So please, buy through this link! Blogging’s a hard knock life I tell ya’ ;)) and then proceeds to catch everything known to man (puked for 24 hrs., cold, sinus, you name it and TMI!! this is a recipe why am I telling you this??!!) and then, AND THEN…I slipped on some melted ice in my kitchen floor (of course I did.) to complicate the already not-so-working pelvis. Yep. Welcome to This So Called Pregnant Life of Rama, that’s pronounced Rayma. I know, ask my mom about that one. Anyway, I like to say I’m one hot pregnant mess. At least with the hot in there it makes it sound half sexy, no? The non-pregnant me: doesn’t get sick, not accident prone, likes to hit the gym…hard and did I mention I had the easiest pregnancy ever the first time around? Man. This has been humbling to say the least, especially when my midwife just put me on modified bed rest because I don’t know when to stop and say enough is enough, so, she had to say it for me. Legit respect.

Reveal Party

{About to find out what we’re having at our reveal party. The suspense is killing me! Drum roll, please…It’s a Girl!}

GIrl!

{And then…I bawled my eyes out. We have our boy and wanted our girl so much.}

GIrl cake!

{This was in the middle! Pink shoe. GF Vegan cake. Yep. The bomb. I heart my midwife. This was all before the prego drama went down. Back to the story…}

So…here I am sitting in front of my computer writing this while laying in bed. Awesome. No, it is. I need to focus on this wee little one and have the birth of my life come a few weeks from now. She deserves it. Homebirth, waterbirth here we come. I am posting the birth story of my first soon ’cause it was awesome, so tay tuned, okay? And how exactly does Vegan Mac n’ Cheese fit into all this from a non-Vegan, hot prego mess? Let me tell you. Literally, like out of nowhere, I had a craving for vegan mac n’ cheese. Had I ever eaten said ‘cheese’ dish in my whole life? Nope. Sometimes, you just gotta’ go with it. Pregnancy’s a beast and you just have to ride its crazy. I wanted some comfort food during the whole cold/sinus thing, but I know through my Chinese Medicine training in school that dairy causes phlegm and you definitely want to stay away from dairy, greasy foods and heavy meat while sick. So, I wanted comfort food without phlegm. Lovely. To the Internet!! I knew vegan cheese had to involve cashews and nutritional yeast, probably lemon juice and garlic, too. I played around in the kitchen (before getting banished to my bed) and it was a fail. Fail. I tried, tried again and came up with a recipe, but I can’t take full credit because I was highly influenced by this awesome recipe from Enjolinfam. You ready for this? Let’s do it! It’s awe-some!

GF Vegan Mac & Cheese

2 cups cashews, soaked for a few hours (if you don’t soak them, that’s fine, you will just have a grainier texture like in the picture. I didn’t have the patience to soak mine the first time around!)

2 1/2 cups water

1 1/2 good-sized lemons, squeezed

1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

3/4 tsp. paprika

1/2 cup nutritional yeast (this stuff is packed full of vits!)

8 oz. Trader Joe’s Red Pepper spread that comes in a jar OR 8 oz. of pimentos in a jar, including the liquid (just watch the label with these to make sure there aren’t any nasty ingredients or dyes

2 tsp. sea salt

(I personally add a dash of cayenne and black, ground pepper. The ground pepper is where it’s at. Gives it the perfect finishing touch. You could add anything to this dish: roasted cauliflower, sausage, chicken, squash)

Throw all ingredients in a food processor,  Vitamix or blender until mixed thoroughly. When you’re done mixing you will think it’s too watery. Don’t worry! Throw it all in a sauce pan on low and heat it up, stirring as you go. It will thicken. You’ll know when it’s done once it thickens, at least 10 minutes, but be sure to stir frequently, ’cause it will stick to the bottom of your pot if you’re not careful. As you’re stirring, if it needs more salt, add it and if you desire a thinner consistency, add a bit more water.

Note: After processing all ingredients and before you stick the sauce in your sauce pan to heat, you can start your gluten-free noodles and let them boil as you stir your sauce. Then they’ll be done about the same time. All I do is strain the noodles, put the noodles back in the warm pot and stir in the sauce. This will make enough for 16 oz. of pasta or even more depending on how much sauce you want. This is the creative part, add as much or as little sauce to your noodles as you like. I only used 8 oz. of pasta and had a massive amount of sauce leftover, which was a win for me because it meant I could make another fresh batch of pasta for another day or add the sauce to nachos, burritos, enchiladas, squash, dip for veggies, you name it. The stuff’s good.

Vegan Mac & Cheese

Enjoy, my Freshly Grown Peeps! Until next time…

My fave gluten-free noodles

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