Jamaican Plant Based Macaroni & Cheese
I know I am not the only one out there with a total love of mac and cheese. It's one of those ultimate comfort foods which when executed right is just the best. Although I think we all know that our regular home cooked mac and cheese is far from healthy. Containing a lot of milk, butter, eggs, flour and a whole wad of cheese with white macaroni, It's basically a heart attack waiting to happen. However as this simple dish is so good, I believe it's not something our lives should be without. So on this note I present to you the HEALTHY vegan plant based Macaroni & Cheese all with a Jamaican twist.
This dish is made creamy through the use of cauliflower, and the "cheesy" flavour is made from the use of cashews, coconut milk and nutritional yeast. The dish is super delicious, easy to make and will have everyone in your family smiling. When using gluten free pasta, I prefer to stick to using a quinoa, buckwheat or brown rice pasta as I find that these don't break down and become so starchy as many gluten free and maize based pastas do when added to the water! These pastas are readily available in most supermarkets and health food stores.
Also don't forget that if you're in Melbourne and want to learn how to cook amazing plant based meals, you can come to a Kenkō Kitchen cooking class. In each class you will learn how to cook a minimum of 5 different plant based dishes and then get a chance to sit down and eat what you've made whilst socialising with other class attendees and asking myself (Kate) any questions you may have! Nobody walks home empty handed as each ticket will see you leaving home with a goody bag, as well as a fresh cold pressed juice and nut mylk on arrival to fuel you through the lesson. To find out more about the classes and to book tickets simply head to the Kenkō Kitchen Cooking Club page. I hope to see you there!
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
400g gluten free pasta (quinoa, buckwheat or brown rice)
big pinch salt
1 large brown onion
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 head cauliflower
1/2 cup water
1 tsp salt
1 cup cashews
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/4 lemon (juiced)
1-2 tsp wholegrain mustard (or vegan dijon mustard)
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp Aleppo pepper
1/4 tsp white pepper
gluten free bread crumbs + vegan grated cheese.
Cook gluten free pasta with the pinch of salt in water as per the instructions on the packet. Strain once al dente and set aside.
In a saucepan add in your onion and coconut oil and cook over a medium flame until onions become translucent. Add in your cauliflower, salt and water and cook until cauliflower softens.
Once cauliflower is softened, pour the onion, cauliflower and remaining liquid into a blender or food processor. Add in all remaining ingredients and place on a high speed for 2 minutes or until sauce is completely smooth.
Pour the sauce over the pasta and place into a casserole dish. Top with gluten free bread crumbs and a sprinkle of grated vegan cheese and pop into the oven for 10 minutes or until the top is toasted. Serve and enjoy.