Vegan Mac & Cheese
Now who doesn’t love Mac & Cheese? I mean when I was a kid, and lets face it into my 20’s I still ate Mac & Cheese out of the box. Like piled on the butter and powdered cheese! Now this was the true-to-form stuff right out of the box and it was delicious! However, now knowing what I know, its almost impossible to eat!
So, in order to fulfill my childhood cravings AND be able to provide my daughter with something that nutritious, easy to make and very tasty! As we know toddlers and kids can be very picky eaters so its great to have this in your back pocket for a toddler or for yourself!
There are a couple ways to make this. 100% vegan OR vegan + butter. When I say butter I mean in the truest from. No margarine, no salted butter, no oleo, just 100% organic unsalted butter OR clarified butter using Ghee another one of my favorites. Now what’s the difference you ask? Great question! I read a great article on this articulating the difference in simple terms so I have shared it below.
“Ghee is the Indian name for clarified butter, which is exactly what you get when you melt butter, remove the solids and let the water evaporate. (And although all ghee is clarified butter, not all clarified butter is ghee; to make ghee, the butter is simmered a little longer than “ordinary” clarified butter in order to bring out ghee’s naturally nutty flavor.)
Ghee has a long-standing reputation as one of the healthiest cooking fats and has been used in Ayurvedic (Indian) medicine for thousands of years. It’s known to have a high concentration of important nutrients such as vitamin K2, conjugated linolenic acid (CLA), an anti-inflammatory substance known as butyrate, and fat-soluble vitamins like A, D and E.” - (Clean Eating Magazine, January 14, 2017)
There are are some days I will use oil and other days I prefer unsalted organic butter OR Ghee. Honestly the better just tastes better!
The next thing we get to are the staple ingredients. The pasta and the “cheese”. Now there are SO many types of gluten free pastas out there that weren’t available even 5 years ago, its crazy! You can pretty much go anywhere from a grocery store to WalMart, or Target, or online to Amazon to buy a gluten free pasta. My favorites are brown rice and chickpea pasta but there are also black bean and lentil versions now that are very high in protein! Just make sure to always check the ingredients to ensure you know what ingredients are listed and how much sugar is in a serving. Some of the vegetable pastas may look healthy but always check the ingredient list to confirm the type and amount of ingredients.
Nutritional Yeast can be found at mostly health food stores like Whole Foods or online on Thrive Market or Amazon. The majority of grocery stores don’t carry it unless its a health focused store. The good news is, its always available online!
Let’s get on to the recipe and how to make this stuff creamy and delicious!
First, you really prepare the same way that you prepared your Kraft Mac & Cheese out of the box. Boil the water, add the noodles, drain, add butter, add “cheese” and a little milk and voila - mac & cheese. It’s really that simple, folks!
1/2 bag of Brown Rice Pasta
1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast
2 tbsp butter or oil *for vegan use omit the butter and sub for your favorite oil
1/4 - 1/2 cup milk (nut milk, flax milk, oat milk, or diary milk) With nutritional yeast we prefer about a 1/2 cup to make it creamier otherwise we end up adding milk to the leftovers on day 2 or day 3
1.) Boil Water with salt. add pasta and lower heat to medium and let simmer for approx 5-8 minutes
2.) Drain pasta in colander and immediately put back in saucepan while warm. Add butter or oil, nutritional yeast and milk and stir well!
3.) Serve immediately for best taste and texture!
Makes approx. 4 servings!