When the weather turns cooler, we turn away from simple salads to heartier fare. Enter mac n' cheese. It is a classic comfort food that my kids will happily eat. Having celiac disease and a dairy allergy though, it was something I virtually erased from my memory. The two primary ingredients are cheese and wheat pasta. I've tried some of the gluten free boxed alternatives and substituted non-dairy milk, but nothing had that creamy texture and cheesy feel that I remember from days of old. I wanted that again, but without the gluten and dairy.
With my son begging for a hot lunch this week, I decided to give gluten and dairy free mac n' cheese another try. I think we succeeded, but you be the judge. I even paid homage to the "sneaky chef"/Jessica Seinfeld by hiding a secret ingredient (pumpkin) in the recipe. It provides added nutrition while celebrating the beginning of the fall season.
Gluten and Dairy Free Mac n' Cheese
1/2 lb Tinkyada Brown Rice Pasta (Shells or Penne)
1/4 cup Daiya Cheddar Cheese Shreds
1 Toffuti Non-Dairy American Cheese Slice
1/4 cup Coconut Milk (Full Fat)
1 tbsp Earth Balance Vegetable Shortening
1 heaping tbsp Pureed Pumpkin (Libby's canned pumpkin is gluten free)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Cook pasta according to directions on package. Drain in a colander and set aside. In a medium saucepan, melt Earth Balance shortening. Add Daiya coconut milk, cheddar cheese shreds, cheese slice, and pureed pumpkin. Whisk until cheese is melted and mixture is thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat to low and add cooked pasta. Mix together and salt and pepper to taste.