I have become a fan of vegan mac and cheese. It's appealing to everyone -- vegans and non-vegans alike -- who are looking for a more nutrient-dense, lower fat, and less processed version of mac and cheese. It cooks up in about 15 minutes and it is so much better for you than a prepackaged version. The recipe swaps out normal pasta for quinoa pasta and replaces gluten-laden bread crumbs with our I Heart Keenwah sea salt truffle quinoa puffs (I love truffle!). This recipe is vegan, dairy-free, soy-free, and gluten-free. The faux-bread crumbs provide an addictive crunch next to the creamy vegan mac and cheese.
10 ounces (or about 2 1/2 cups) of Ancient Harvest quinoa pasta
1 cup peeled/diced yellow potatoes (equates to about 2 small potatoes)
1/4 cup peeled/diced carrots (equates to about 1/2 of a carrot)
1/3 cup chopped onion (equates to about 1/4th a small onion)
1 clove of garlic
3/4 cup water (preferably use liquid from pot of boiled veggies)
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon kosher salt (or more to taste)
1 pinch paprika
3oz oz (full bag) of I Heart Keenwah truffle sea salt quinoa puffs (blended in a food processor until breadcrumb texture is achieved)
The pasta part is easy. Just add pasta to boiling water and boil for 6 minutes until al dente. Put in strainer and set aside (I drizzled a tad bit of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt to keep the pasta from sticking together).
The vegan cheese takes about 15 minutes to make. Add potatoes, carrots, onions and garlic to pot of boiling water and boil for 10 minutes. In the meantime, add cashews, coconut milk, yeast, lemon, salt, paprika to a blender. Spoon 3/4 cups of boiling water from the liquid from pot of boiled veggies. Then add the veggies themselves (use a slotted spoon or strainer to remove veggies from pot). Blend until the mixture is liquified. Add more salt depending on taste. The vegan cheese tastes magically like real cheese.
Fold the vegan cheese into pasta. Liberally sprinkle sea salt truffle quinoa puff bread crumbs on top. The truffle flavor really makes the dish!
What about the protein here? This dish actually has a fair amount of protein. Here's my math: 1 cup of quinoa pasta is 4g of protein, the vegan cheese sauce adds 3-4g of protein from the cashews and our sea salt truffle puffs add an additional 5g of protein depending on how much you use. That's a total of ~13g of protein per serving (26% of DV). Not bad for comfort food.
Note: This recipe is a modified version of Lindsay's (of Vegan Yumminess) Creamy Vegan Mac and Cheese post.