Vegan Gluten-Free Mac and Cheese

Who doesn't love mac and cheese? In my home, this tasty dish was a staple. Fish sticks? Check. Mac and cheese? Double check. No matter the “main course,” mac and cheese was often the accompaniment. Unfortunately, cheese is not our friend (Don’t believe me? Read all about it here). And if you’re a vegan, giving up cheese can feel cruel and make many meals – such as mac and cheese – impossibly unsatisfying.

Well, no more. Thanks to this recipe, first published on YumUniverse, and with a few of my own additions and tweaks, vegan gluten-free mac and cheese can taste better than the original. Thanks to rich, healthy cashews, tahini and healthy B-vitamin packed nutritional yeast, you can trick the kids, the husband and guests with this tasty, delectable (and incredibly easy) dinner.

This version is full of fresh veggies for an extra dose of fiber and vitamins. Use what you like or stick to the original noodles and “cheese” sauce. Enjoy!

Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Mac and Cheese

Ingredients:

1 box Ancient Harvest Quinoa Gluten-Free Elbow Macaroni

1 cup water

1/4 cup extra-virgin coconut oil

3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

3 Tbsp. nutritional yeast

3 Tbsp. tahini

1 cup cashews, soaked*

Extras:

1 zucchini, peeled into strips (like spaghetti)

1 large tomato, chopped

1 red pepper, diced and blended with sauce

1 yellow squash, chopped

1. Start the water for pasta and dump pasta in once water reaches a boil.

2. Add all sauce ingredients together in a blender and blend until smooth.

3. Chop extra veggies you want to include and throw into a large sauce pan. Pour sauce on top of veggies and heat on medium.

4. Once pasta is done, drain and add noodles to sauce and mix until well coated. Pour into bowls and enjoy!

Note: To soak cashews, purchase whole, raw cashews. In a large bowl, dissolve 1 Tbsp. pink sea salt in 2-3 cups pure warm water. Add cashews. Make sure water covers nuts completely. Soak for two hours, drain the water and rinse nuts well. Store in a glass container in the fridge for the next few days. By soaking, your body can better assimilate the nutrients, fat and minerals from the nuts. Want to read more about it? Click here.

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