Monday, December 15, 2014

Macaroni and Cash(ews)

Everyone loves macaroni & cheese and this raw vegan cheese sauce is an easy and elegant version of the traditional comfort food.  Made with raw cashews, nutritional yeast and a mix of spices, this sauce first puzzled my non-vegan husband and then won him over after he had a little try of it—yum, yum.  The nutritional yeast that's in the sauce is an inactive form of yeast that's yellow in color and with a unique nutty flavor that's similar to cheese.  If you happen to give this recipe a go, please let me know in the comments.  I'm curious to know what you think of it.



Ingredients: 
  • 1.5 cups raw Cashews
  • 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 1/2 tsp. Spicy Brown Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. Chili Powder
  • 1 pinch Turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh Lemon Juice (about the juice of one lemon)
  • 3/4 cup Water
  • 1.5 tsp. Salt
  • Shell or Elbow Pasta of choice
  • Crimini Mushrooms
  • fresh Parsley
  • 1 Tbsp. Coconut Milk

Preparations: 
  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil for cooking the pasta. 
  • At this time, also heat a medium size pan with some vegan butter to sauté the mushrooms.  When the pan warms, clean and slice them before adding them into the pan to brown.
  • Meanwhile, you can prepare the sauce.  In order to make the raw cheese sauce, combine the cashews, together with the nutritional yeast, mustard, spices, salt, and lemon juice in a food processor or high speed blender.  Then slowly add the water to the mixture to reach a more sauce-like consistency.  
  • When the water boils, add the pasta, and then cook according to it's instructions.  Everyone likes the pasta cooked differently.  My husband likes the noodles on the crispy side of al dente, while I would not mind if he would "forget" them in the pot a for a little while so that they are completely soft and slippery.
  • Next, combine the pasta with the mushrooms, spoon some of the cheese sauce with it and mix to distribute everything evenly.  I recommend adding the sauce gradually so that you can coat the noodles with just the right amount.
  • Serve the dish with some freshly chopped parsley and maybe a nice amount of cracked black pepper.
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       Nina & Spencer

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