Vegan Cauliflower Mac n’ Cheeze

cauliflower mac n cheese final

Only recently have I been sensitive to dairy.  I’m not necessarily a milk drinker, but I do enjoy cream in my coffee, full fat yogurt and cheese!  When your body begins to reject a food, it can present itself in different ways.  Sometimes it is eczema, acne, bloating, cramping, even asthma. And, the latter is one of my new symptoms so the elimination diet has begun. You can imagine, the idea of eliminating my all time favourite comfort food, mac n’ cheese, is honestly my worst nightmare.

When I work with clients to help them map out wellness goals, I stress the importance of “healthy swaps”.  When you eliminate an ingredient or habit from your life because it is no longer serving you, I feel it is important to find a healthy replacement. This means swapping late night bowls of chips with a handful of crunchy roasted chickpeas no later than 7pm, or swapping animal protein for plant-based sources of like cashew milk and nutritional yeast. Then, this happened.  And, it all came together in about 20 minutes. Really, I couldn’t even get through one bowl, it was so filling and creamy.

cauliflower mac n cheese

First, soak 1/2 C cashews in water for at least 20 minutes.

Second, while cashews are soaking, steam 1/2 head of cauliflower.  I used orange cauliflower here but pink or white are great, too. Steam just until soft.

Third, boil your brown rice pasta until cooked. Drain and set aside.

cauliflower mac n cheese 2

Next, drain cashews and add them to a food processor, along with steamed cauliflower, garlic, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper and paprika. Add up to 1/2 C water slowly as you puree until smooth, about 1 minute.

cauliflower mac n cheese 3
cauliflower mac n cheese 4

Once sauce is mixed and deliciously creamy, pour it over cooked pasta, in a saucepan, and let it mix together for a few minutes on low heat.

Top with vegan parmesan cheese by Minimalist Baker (with a few of the ingredients you already used in this recipe!) and serve while hot.  You could even bake it for some extra crisp on top.

So easy. This girl’s comfort food dreams have not been crushed.

cauliflower mac n cheese final

Ingredients for 2 servings:

1 1/2 C cauliflower florets (steamed)

1/2 C cashews (soaked)

1 clove garlic

1/4 C nutritional yeast (Bob’s Red Mill is a brand I use)

1/2 tsp sea salt

cracked pepper to taste

1/4 tsp paprika

up to 1/2 C water

brown rice pasta (2 servings)

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Jen Casey, CNP

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