Friday, October 25, 2013

Macaroni & Vegan "Cheese" with Broccoli

Vegan Twist on Mac 'n' Cheese
If you and your kids find Mac 'n' Cheese to be sacred, I ask you to set you bias aside and give this vegan version a try. Your kids might be pleasantly surprised and you may find a healthier version. Don't give it away when you set the dish in front of them. Then step back and watch their reaction.

The recipe comes from the Forks Over Knives website from the kitchen of Victoria Fiore, plant-based chef at the Naked Core.

I adjusted the recipe amounts to suit using a small butternut squash and used fussilli pasta because it's a lot more fun than elbows. You can use your favorite. This recipe calls for gluten-free, brown rice pasta for added nutrition and those avoiding wheat.
Vegan Twist on Mac 'n' Cheese
Prep and cook the butternut squash in a covered dish in the oven at 350º. I use a toaster oven. It's more efficient than heating up your full-size oven. Once the squash is cooked enough to process into a creamy sauce, transfer to a blender (or use emersion blender). Crush garlic cloves and add to squash with "milk," nutritional yeast, salt and garlic powder. Process until smooth and creamy.

Add parley flakes and pepper to creamy sauce.
Vegan Twist on Mac 'n' Cheese
Cut broccoli head into florets and cut stems into pieces. Steam broccoli stems for 5 minutes and add florets and steam for 3-4 more minutes.

Bring creamy sauce to a low boil and add broccoli and pasta then mix gently with a wooden spoon. Serve and observe.

Macaroni & Vegan "Cheese" with Broccoli

Yield 2 servings

Category Main Course
Cuisine vegan, gluten-free

1 small butternut squash
1 medium broccoli head
2 C dry brown rice pasta
3 garlic cloves
1/4 C almond or coconut milk
1 1/2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
sea salt to taste
1/2 Tbsp garlic powder
parsley flakes
pepper to taste

1. Peel the squash, cut-up and remove the seeds. Place in baking sdish, cover and bake in oven at 350º for 30 minutes. Test with fork for doneness.
2. Separate broccoli into small florets. Cut stems into small pieces.
3. Boil the pasta according to package instructions. Careful to not overcook.
4. Steam broccoli stems covered for five minutes, then add the florets for 3-4 more minutes.  
5. Crush garlic cloves and add to squash. Add plant-based milk of choice, nutritional yeast, sea salt and garlic powder. Then process in blender or in pot using emersion blender until smooth and creamy.
6. Add parsley flakes and pepper to creamy sauce and mix with spoon.
7. Bring sauce to a gentle, low boil and add the pasta and broccoli while mixing with a wooden spoon.
8. Serve.

What other kids' favorite could you adjust to make it healthier?


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