When I was growing up, I looked forward to when my parents went out at night because that meant we could have Kraft Mac & Cheese. Supposedly the company made it healthier a couple of years ago by removing artificial dyes, flavors and preservatives. Hold on Kraft fans, this new Kraft dinner is not a healthy choice to eat. It’s low in fiber and still high in sodium, sugar and saturated fat. I came up with a healthy vegan mac & cheese that doesn’t have any artificial ingredients is low in sodium, but high in protein and fiber, and zero added sugar and only 2 teaspoons of healthy oil. Yes, it does take more time to make, but it tastes better and is better for you and your family.
- 1 head of cauliflower cut into florets
- 2 teaspoons grape or virgin olive oil
- 1 chopped medium yellow onion
- 1 cup sliced bella mushrooms, (can use crimini or white mushrooms)
- 1 red pepper finely chopped
- 1/4 cup finely sliced sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/2 cup low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 cup cilantro stem removed and cut (reserve 2 tablespoons)
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 can (15.5 oz.) small white beans drained (reserve the bean liquid for later use)
- 2 Tablespoons white wine or low sodium veggie broth*
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder (not garlic salt!)
- 1 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 1 Tablespoon turmeric
- 2 cups dried cavatappi (or elbow) pasta, cooked and drained
- 1/2 green onion chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- Place cauliflower florets on a cookie sheet covered in foil or parchment paper. Drizzle with oil and lightly season with salt and pepper. Place under broiled until gently browned. Watch closely.
- In a large fry pan saute onions in broth for 5 minutes then add mushrooms, red pepper, sun-dried tomatoes and garlic. Continue to saute adding broth as necessary, until soft.
- Cook pasta until al dente. Drain.
- Prepare sauce by adding beans, wine or broth*, turmeric, garlic powder, nutritional yeast, 2 tablespoons cilantro and cayenne pepper to blend. Blend until smooth, stopping to stir and adding liquid as needed.
- Combine cauliflower, pasta, green onion and remaining cilantro in fry pan. Then stir in sauce.
- Heat over low medium for a couple of minutes until warmed.
* I frequently use wine in recipes. I understand some people have a hard time metabolizing it or want to avoid for other reasons. I totally get it. Substitute low-sodium veggie broth. For those of you who can’t tolerate “LTP” remember it is found in the skins grape but white wine is fermented without the skins. Check with your doctor if you can tolerate white wine.
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