CASHEW CREAM MAC 'N' CHEESE
Why rely on boxed mac ‘n’ cheese when you could get a bit crafty with your mac ‘n’ cheese? This dish uses cashews for that rich, fatty flavor—combined with nutritional yeast for a cheesy taste. It’s quick, easy, healthy and better for the planet than using cow’s cheese: cashew trees are lighter on the land than cows, providing wildlife habitat and preventing erosion. So give two big, creamy thumbs up for planet-friendly pasta!
Prep and cooking time: 30 minutes, plus soaking time for cashews
1 C raw cashews, soaked for 4 hours
2 Tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp soy sauce
¾ tsp mustard
2 tsp onion powder
½ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
¼ C nutritional yeast
2 Tbsp margarine
One 1-lb box of pasta (shells or macaroni)
Fresh black pepper
Smoked paprika, to garnish (optional)
Basil, to garnish (optional)
Rinse the soaked cashews. Put them in a blender. Add enough fresh water so that they are just covered, then blend until very smooth—about a minute. Once smooth, add the lemon juice, soy sauce, mustard, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, nutritional yeast and margarine. Blend until well combined. Add a little more water, one tablespoon at a time, until you have a smooth and creamy sauce.
Cook pasta according to the package instructions. Drain in a colander and rinse thoroughly. Return to its cooking pot and add the cashew cheese sauce.
Spoon into bowls and garnish with black pepper, paprika and basil or whatever other toppings you love (sautéed onions, garlic and cherry tomatoes work well!).
Tip: Like baked mac? Put the mac ‘n’ cheese in a baking dish and bake for 10 – 15 minutes at 350°F, or until slightly browned.