Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Cheezy Pasta - Vegan


Teenagers love mac n cheese, right?  Well, for that matter people of any age.  So you can imagine the dismay when my 14-year old son suddenly developed lactose intolerance... not just the normal kind where you take a pill and eat what you want, but a severe form that has left him dairy-free ever since.

Mostly he missed pizza.  And tacos with chipotle white sauce.  And mac n cheese.

We tried different vegan cheeses and sauces, but all were met with the same response,

"No thanks, Mom.  I'll just go without."

So off my baby went to college, dairy-free.  He hasn't adopted our vegan diet and actually makes fun of many of my "vegan" choices as he feels he needs "real" protein to keep his physique (I know... I've sent him the literature, but he still doesn't believe.).  

But then he came home and I made him this Cheezy Pasta.  Placing a steaming bowl in front of him he raised his eyebrows as he hesitantly asked what was in it.

"Cashews," I said casually.  "And a few other things like garlic, oh, and Nutritional Yeast..."

The eyebrows went higher and he responded,

"No thanks, I'm good".

Eventually I convinced him to try. 

"Just a bite," I said.

And he did.  One bite.  Then two.  Then he cleaned the bowl and asked for seconds.

Now I get texts when he leaves Santa Barbara on his way home for a long weekend asking if I can "Please have that Vegan Cheezy Pasta ready" when he walks in the door.

Luckily it goes together in a flash, and you can make extra sauce that keeps for days in the fridge.

However, if you're trying to sell it as a sub to mac n cheese lovers, I wouldn't call it mac n cheese... it's definitely not the blue box kind.  It's so much better, a whole different kinds of awesomeness that deserves a category all its own.  And so much healthier... have you read the back of that box?  But that's a whole different story.


Cheers my friends... enjoy!

Kim

Vegan Cheezy Pasta
Quick to go together with just a few real food ingredients.  Nutritional yeast is an excellent source of plant based Vitamin B-12 and is also said to enhance immunity and perhaps even help hay fever.  I don't usually measure when I make the sauce, so know that these measurements can be "about" the amount listed and it won't make much difference.  Adjust the "nooch" to your taste.
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Instagram post tempting my son to come home!
1/2 cup cashews (I use raw, unsalted)
almond milk to cover plus a little extra
3-4 Tbs nutritional yeast (I like 4!)
1/4 tsp granulated garlic (or 1/2 glove garlic)
1/4 tsp prepared mustard 
1/8 tsp dried turmeric
Water as necessary if too thick.

Pasta - cooked and drained
Save 1-2 Tbs of past water

While past is cooking prepare sauce.  

Place ingredients (all except for the pasta) in a high powered blender and blend on the "sauce" setting until smooth (I use the Blendtec Twister Jar).  Add a Tbs or two of water as necessary if the sauce is too thick.

Drain the pasta - save a Tablespoon or two of the pasta water.  

Pour pasta back into pot and immediately add a few Tablespoons of the Cheezy Sauce over the pasta while it is still hot.  Stir to coat the pasta.  Add a Tbs or two of the pasta water if it is too thick or your prefer a thinner sauce.

Serve alone or with roasted veggies.  Top with salt and pepper to taste.  Enjoy!

Save extra sauce in a covered container in the fridge for up to a week.

Liv Life Note:  Note this post contains an Amazon Affiliate Link that allows me a commision (note - a very small commission) if you purchase through the link. :)

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