Before giving up dairy my number one favorite cheesy food was pizza, followed by macaroni and cheese as a close second.
My solution was to give them up completely, but this vegan recipe saved the day!
Who knew something like this could fill the void so well?
This recipe is courtesy of The Detoxinista. I can’t even tell you how many times her recipes have helped me out in the past year. From desserts to dinners they’ve been super great.
Anyway, nutritional yeast is apparently a little savior if you’re looking for that cheesy taste without actual dairy. I won’t even go into that one time I tried store bought vegan cheese. Just no. If you are only looking for the appearance of cheese maybe it’s great? I don’t know.
Nutritional yeast doesn’t look like much, but mixed into a creamy sauce you won’t believe how good it can be.
To get that creamy texture you’re going to need cashews. Cashews are all over the place in vegan recipes, which I was pretty skeptical about, because wouldn’t it just taste like nuts?
Well, yeah, I was wrong. Cashews have a very mild taste, so when you mix in some other flavours that nuttiness is pretty well obsolete. Vegans, they just know everything.
Last, but not least, you finish things up by throwing in some roasted broccoli. It gets coated with the “cheese” sauce and takes me right back to my childhood. Broccoli with cheese sauce is where it’s at.
The best thing about this whole thing? If you roast the broccoli ahead of time you can whip the sauce up in a blender and be eating in 10 minutes. THAT’s what I like to hear.
- 1 spear of broccoli (stalk and florets)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¾ cup of cashews
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ cup nutritional yeast
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- 1 small clove of garlic
- ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons of water, if need
- 2 cups of shells, or macaroni
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Chop broccoli into bite sized pieces and toss with olive oil until lightly coated.
- Place on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast for 15-20 minutes.
- Fill a small pot with enough water to cook the pasta, and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Meanwhile, in a blender add cashews and blend until they are finely ground and slightly moist, almost a nut butter consistency.
- Add in lemon juice, salt, nutritional yeast, chili powder, garlic and Dijon. Blend until smooth and creamy.
- Add water if need to facilitate blending (I usually add it until it looks right for me).
- Add pasta to boiling water and cook according to directions. Drain and place in a large serving bowl.
- Throw in the roasted broccoli, and then pour cheese sauce into the bowl. Toss until pasta is completely coated.
- Serve while warm.