Pre-Detox Comfort Food (vegan, gluten-free mac n cheese!)

As winter draws to a close, who doesn’t love a great comfort food recipe? This is a great healthy alternative to traditional mac n cheese, without losing the amazing yummy taste of a classic.

Gluten-Free Mac n Cheese with Broccoli and Peas

I adapted this recipe from Mind Body Green, original recipe by Chef Silvia Bianco. It’s a huge success with our family and no one knew it didn’t have any cheese. The result is a huge portion of mac n cheese that would serve 5-6 adults. This is a must try comfort food alternative.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. gluten-free pasta (I use ¾ of a 227g bag of rice elbow macaroni)2014-02-14 18.07.36
  • 1 large or 2 small broccoli crowns, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen baby peas
  • 2 cups raw cashews
  • 2 cups water
  • 4-5 sun-dried tomatoes halves, cut in a 1/4” strips and then in 1/4″ dice
  • 1 ½ tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 fresh garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • 2 Tbsp. of nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup of gluten-free bread crumbs and 1 ½ tbsp. of Earth Balance for the topping

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Make the cashew cream by soaking the cashews in water for at least 20 minutes. Add nuts and water to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.
  3. Prep all ingredients before going onto the next steps.
  4. In the meantime, cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling water, but drain when still quite firm to the touch (cook for ½ of the lesser cooking time on the package). Add the broccoli in the last 2 minutes of cook time.
  5. Place a large (at least 10”) sauté pan over medium heat, and add the oil.
  6. Add the garlic and cook just until the garlic begins to color.
  7. Lower the heat to med-low, add the cashew cream, paprika and the nutritional yeast. Season with salt and pepper and stir to incorporate. Bring to a simmer and allow the sauce to reduce and thicken for a couple of minutes. Add approx. ¼ cup filtered water if it’s too thick.
  8. Stir cream in the pasta (put back in the large saucepan) and follow with the broccoli, peas and sun-dried tomatoes. Add a bit more water if too thick.
  9. Add the pasta and sauce to a large, deep baking dish.
  10. Melt the Earth Balance and mix with the bread crumbs. Spread over the top of the pasta.
  11. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes; and then cook under the broiler for 2 minutes or just until the toppings turn golden.
  12. Remove from the oven and serve. Add a dash of tabasco for a kick!

 

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