Yes, you can have creamy mac and cheese and stay healthy… try this vegan macaroni and cheese… it’s so good!
I have been pretty much dairy-free for too many years to count. And, for the last several years I eat mostly grain-free too.
And, honestly, there’s not too much that I feel I’m missing. That is, except creamy pasta dishes.
When I serve something that looks like this vegan macaroni and cheese, anyone who knows me backs up and asks what it’s made of. I can’t say I blame them because I’ve tried to replicate dishes like this with some pretty strange ingredients.
I experiment with lots of creamy pasta recipes. I mean, I do this a lot. Because pasta is awesome. It’s always been my favorite food. It’s the food that I find to be the most comforting food around.
I don’t post most of my experiments because truthfully, a lot of grain-free, dairy-free pasta dishes that are supposed to taste creamy and pasta-like really aren’t that good. But when I find a good one, I get really excited. And this vegan macaroni and cheese recipe is really, really good.
The sauce is made with potatoes, carrots, nutritional yeast, and coconut milk. I know it sounds a little odd, but the texture and look are just perfect. It’s so creamy and the nutritional yeast gives it a cheesy taste. My non-vegan husband ate big bowls of this.
The pasta is made from lentils. Just lentils. This is a great find (see the recipe below for details on this awesome grain-free pasta). The texture really is like traditional pasta… it’s my new favorite pasta.
If you like the feel of this dish, take a look at this recipe for another type of vegan cheesy pasta!
Here are some of the great ingredients in this dish:
Lentils help lower cholesterol, manage blood sugar levels, are high in vitamin B and protein, and have hardly any fat. They are a good source of long-term energy and are very high in fiber. These tiny legumes also help with digestion and they are the perfect protein to eat in the summer because they actually clear the body of excess heat; long ago, cold lentil soup was prescribed for patients with heatstroke or fever.
Potatoes are good at soothing ulcers and neutralizing acid in the stomach and they help relieve constipation. These tubers also can help relieve arthritic inflammation. So, even though sweet potatoes are thought of as the white potato’s more nutrition sister, regular old potatoes can be just what the doctor ordered.
Turmeric is a Chinese herb (Jiang Huang). It is great for reducing inflammation throughout the body. If you suffer from aches and pains in your joints, try turmeric. It can help relieve menstrual pain and some other abdominal pains but, if you are pregnant, ask your doctor before you eat too much turmeric.
Nutritional yeast gives things a cheese-y taste without using any dairy and it adds amino acids and Vitamin B, so it’s perfect here.
Carrots help strengthen the organs in your body. They also are good for the eyes (this is their claim to fame) and they promote healthy digestion. Many moons ago, people used to make carrot tea to ward off measles and to prevent cancer. Carrots help detoxify the body and in today’s world of Chinese medicine, they are prescribed to ease constipation and tonsillitis.
In Asian medicine, we use coconut to strengthen the body, reduce swelling, and stop bleeding. Coconut kills viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It’s good for all types of infections and viruses in the body, including the flu, bronchitis, tapeworms, urinary tract infections, and herpes.
- 12 oz cooked pasta (I used this brand of grain-free lentil pasta)
- 1 med baking potato, peeled, diced
- 1 large carrot, thickly sliced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 Tbs lemon juice
- sea salt and black pepper to taste
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ¼ tsp chipotle chili powder
- 3 Tbs nutritional yeast (I like this kind)
- ¼ cup coconut cream from the top of a can of full-fat coconut milk (I buy these in bulk)
- Bring a medium pot of water to a boil.
- Add the potatoes, carrots, and onion.
- Boil until the veggies are soft; mine took 13 minutes.
- Dip a measuring cup into the veggie cooking water, and save ½ of a cup of it, then drain the veggies.
- Place the cooked veggies in a blender with all of the remaining ingredients, except the pasta. Add the reserved cooking water.
- Blend until smooth and creamy (I used my Vitamix for this).
- Pour the sauce of the pasta and stir until well-combined.