Creamy cheesy decadent tasting Mac n' cheese with almost half the calories of regular Mac n' cheese. Amazing dairy free, gluten free, vegan Mac n' cheese with caramelized onions, sauteed garlic, cashews, a rich broth and... the secret to the skinny makeover: cauliflower! no one will know about it, trust me ;)
Let's just say my pickiest non-vegan taste tester was all over this Mac n' cheese.
1/2 cup has only 114 calories, 12 grams net carbs and 7 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber; this is comfort food you can feel good about!
I used an awesome gluten free Pasta, made entirely from green lentil flour
Tolerant Foods Organic Green Lentil Elbow Pasta
It's delicious and very high in both protein & fiber.
You can find this on on Amazon or at whole food, you will need 2 x 6 oz packages for this recipe. The Amazon link above is for a 6 pack, it comes out way cheaper per package then in local stores.
difficulty level: easy peasy
- large braiser or 12" non stick pan with a lid
prep time: 5 minutes
cook time: 20 minutes
What you need:
- 9 oz uncooked Tolerant Foods Organic Green Lentil Elbow Pasta (see link above). This is basically 1 pack and a half (each pack is 6 oz). For this recipe I suggest to cook this elbow pasta past the suggested package time, cook it a minimum 8 minutes and even 9. This pasta is made entirely of green lentil flour, which can make the pasta harden once it is stored in the fridge, overcooking avoids this issue, i guarantee the 8 minutes boil time will not give you mushy pasta.
- 1 cup finely chopped onion, roughly 1 small onion
- 4 garlic cloves (or 3 big ones) finely minced or finely grated on acheese grater or micropane, mixed with 1 tsp oil in a ramekin.
- 2 cups + 2 tbsp broth
- 1 cup very thinly chopped cauliflower
- 1/2 tbsp oil
- 1/4 cup quick soaked cashews. pour 1 cup boiling water over raw cashews, let sit uncovered 45 minutes
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1.5 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
- 5 tbsp dry nutritional yeast, you can find this on Amazon i like Braggs brand. this gives a beautiful cheesy flavor to the dish
- black pepper or cayenne, or both according to preference
- 1 tbsp arrowroot powder, or corn starch, mixed with 1 tbsp water.
what to do:
- place medium small saucepan on stove, fill with water, bring to a boil and cook elbow pasta 8 minutes. drain, do NOT rinse, and set aside. NOT rinsing is important, it helps the pasta absorb the sauce, preventing the sauce from sliding off of the pasta.
- meanwhile preheat pan or braiser on medium high, add 1/2 tbsp oil and onions, saute/caramelize the onions on medium to medium high for 7 minutes, deglazing pan with 1-2 tbsp broth as needed.
- reduce heat to medium, push onions to sides of pan, add garlic and 1 tsp oil mixture to middle of pan, gently spread it out at center, saute 1 minutes
- add remaining 2 cups broth, cauliflower, cashews, turmeric & mustard and nutritional yeast
- bring to a boil, cover, reduce to medium and let simmer (a high simmer) for 10 minutes. it is crucial to keep the pan covered, this prevents the broth from evaporating and allows the cauliflower to cook through.
- remove pan from heat, carefully pour everything into blender
- add 1/2 tbsp lemon juice and blend on high at least one minute.
- stop, scrape down sides, add pepper or cayenne according to preference
- blend again on high, slowly drizzle in the well mixed arrowroot slurry through the top of the blender, let blend 1 minutes.
- place the cooked pasta in a bowl
- pour this delicious creamy sauce over the pasta, mix well, top off with a bit of fresh parsley & vegan Parmesan and enjoy!!!!