Mac n Cheese (vegan, gluten free)
So this recipe came about, about 5-6 years ago when I was REALLY missing both cheese sauce on cauliflower + broccoli and mac n cheese. I couldn't find any packet ones I enjoyed, so I decided to make my own. I've also always loved making hidden veggie recipes.
This has become a go-to dish for family events and parties where I bring food for myself, but I know most will be willing to try it. I mean, it's mac n cheese! Why wouldn't you?
500g butternut pumpkin (a little more than 1/4 medium butternut pumpkin, or ~2.5 cups when diced)
1 tbs avocado oil
½-1 tsp garlic powder or 2 tsp of minced garlic (see notes)
1-1 1/3 C almond milk, unsweetened
½ tsp salt
4-5 tbsp savoury yeast
1 tbs cashew butter or 1/4C raw cashews (see notes)
½-1 tsp paprika
Pepper, to taste
½ head broccoli
¼ head cauliflower
250g pasta of choice (I've used buckwheat pasta in images)
1. Preheat oven to 190C.
2. Scoop out centre of butternut pumpkin and cut off skin. Cut up into medium sized chunks and toss in avocado oil.
3. Place butternut pumpkin chunks onto a lined baking tray.
4. Place in oven and baked for 25 minutes, before turning and baking for another 2 minutes.
5. While it is baking, begin to cut up your broccoli and cauliflower and set aside.
6. Once the pumpkin chunks are all nice and roasted, removed from oven and set aside to cool.
7. While cooling, start to making your pasta as according to packet instructions and either boiling or steaming the broccoli and cauliflower.
8. Once the pasta and veggies are done, set aside to quickly make the sauce.
9. Add the pumpkin and all other ingredients (almond milk, cashew butter, yeast etc) into a blender and blend until thoroughly mixed. If needed, add some more almond milk. Taste to check saltiness, pepperiness etc. If you prefer a sharp flavour, add in some (~1tsp) mustard powder.
10. Now your sauce is done, pour it over your pasta and veggies and mix through over heat, and you’re done! Enjoy!
Nutrition Information (When served as 4, using buckwheat pasta)
356 Cal | 17.6g Protein | 4g Fat | 0.6g Sat. Fat | 59.5g Carbs | 8.0g Sugar | 10.8g Fibre | 346mg Sodium
You can opt for other vegetables in the sauce by reducing the amount of pumpkin and subbing in carrot and/or cauliflower- I boil, rather than bake these though so they are softer.
I also often stir through spinach, or add in peas to mix up the added vegetables
If using minced garlic, quickly toss through some heated olive oil for 1 minute before adding to sauce.
If need to avoid garlic, I've forgotten it before and it was still nice, but it would be nicer if you used a garlic-infused olive oil to bake the pumpkin to get that garlic flavour OR add it in to the sauce with less almond milk.
If using raw cashews, blend alone in almond milk first to ensure they have been ground-down well. Once they have, add in other sauce ingredients.