I am definitely NOT a food blogger. I like to cook and bake, but I'm not a pro. I am not even an amateur baking-savante. See: (Why I'll Never Win the Great British Baking Show)...
However, one thing I have learned since we've gone plant-based is not to be afraid to toss things together, add some spice, and voila - a yummy meal. (My Vitamix is one of my best friends in life. I'm being serious...) I've never been good at stocking my pantry effectively. I read those cookbooks that tell you what to ALWAYS have on hand, and it seems so overwhelming to me (and my pocketbook) that I never even try.
So here is my "EASY MAC" recipe for those like me.
1. BOIL NOODLES - my little guy like shells or "macaroni elbows" but you can use any kind that suits your family's health needs. I tend to opt for chickpea noodles or lentil noodles over regular wheat based pastas.
2. SOAK CASHEWS - You really only need 15 minutes. Soak a cup of cashews in hot water. Raw natural are best, but sometimes all we have on hand are salted Costco cashews. SO BE IT!
3. BOIL VEGETABLES - Try to pick something orange to give your sauce a "cheese" color. This day I used sweet potatoes, but I've also done carrots combined with onions and regular potatoes.
4. You probably only need to boil your veggies as long as the noodles cook, or less. Just so they are slightly soft. Don't cook out all the nutrients.
5. BLEND SAUCE:
- Veggies drained from water (if you cook the veggies in a broth instead of water you can use some of the liquid in the sauce! Adapt as feels right!)
- Plant based milk for creaminess (UNFLAVORED Almond, Flax, Cashew, Pea...whatever floats your boat. We try to limit our soy to tofu and edamame in our house, so we never use Soy milk.)
- Nutritional Yeast (this is one thing I ALWAYS have in my pantry. My kiddo likes it as his "salt" on veggies and it is a good enhancement to popcorn and any "cheesy" sauce. Plus B12!)
- Seasonings - This time I used onion powder because I didn't have real onions on hand. If you have garlic, throw it in, or just salt and pepper or just the nutritional yeast if you want to keep it simple.)
Did I mention I NEVER measure??? Just throw stuff in there kids!! Experiment. You'll figure it out. (Ok probably like 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast, a couple teaspoons of garlic or onion powder, and start with 1/3 cup of milk and add more as needed. There, are you happy!?)
Test a spoonful for taste, and add more spices or milk as needed.
Add that deliciousness to your noodles!!! Save the extra for your toast, your tortilla chips, mix it into to salsa, melt it over your broccoli at dinner...the possibilities are endless.
This kid has never had "REAL" mac n cheese his whole life. He loves this stuff: