Who doesn’t love mac and cheese? This version gives you all that cheesy goodness using cashew cheeze sauce. Plus, it’s adaptable: you can basically mix in whatever you’d like and get your fix. Read on for a few ideas.

Total Time: 30 minutes

Active Time: 20 minutes

Makes 4 servings

Cost per serving: $1.25

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup cashews, soaked in water for at least 2 hours

1 cup vegetable broth

3 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons onion powder

Salt and pepper to taste

8 oz small shell pasta or macaroni (gluten-free, whole wheat, or any type)

DIRECTIONS:
To make the sauce: Drain the cashews and place all sauce ingredients in a blender and blend away until completely smooth. Scrape down the sides with a spatula to make sure you get everything. (Depending on the strength of your blender this could take from one to five minutes.) Add salt and pepper to taste, keeping in mind that you want it just a little saltier than you think because it’s going to be poured over all of the other ingredients.

Cook the macaroni until it’s tender, and drain it in a colander. Immediately place it back in the pot you boiled it in and stir in the sauce. Place pot on low heat and stir for 3 minutes or so, until the sauce is thickened a bit and everything is deliciously creamy. Salt to taste again, if necessary.

GET ALL MIXED UP:

You can add all sorts of extra goodness to this recipe with mix-ins! Just whip up one of these options and then stir it in at the end.

Try it with BLT:

A handful of your favorite vegan bacon, chopped (try Upton’s Naturals Bacon Seitan or Tofurky Smoky Maple Bacon Tempeh)

4 cups baby arugula

2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved (or chopped regular tomatoes)

Or try:

Steamed broccoli 

Seared Brussels sprouts

Sauteed tofu

Chickpeas with Frank’s RedHot sauce

Note: If you forgot to soak the cashews, have no fear. You can boil them for the same creamy effect, and still have this on the table in 30 minutes. Just submerge in boiling water for 15 minutes, drain, and proceed.

 By Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Photographed by Vanessa Rees

 

 

 

 

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