cashews · cheese · greens · jalapeno · mac and cheese · pasta · vitamix · weeknight

Weeknight Vegan Mac and Cheese

The football offseason is officially upon us but that doesn’t mean we should stop making epic foods! I understand many people, including myself, are crunched for time after work. Easy and delicious recipes are tough to come by, especially those with a wow factor.

This recipe comes together in about 30 minutes and will blow you away with how good it is.  Here is where it definitely pays to have a Vitamix or else you’ll need to soak the nuts and work at it in a regular blender. Pair this with some bbq seitan cutlets (that I like to keep in the freezer) and a steamed veggie side. While similar to past mac and cheese dishes found on this website (Tailgate Mac and Cheese and Chili Mac and Cheese), this version is much simpler without losing any of that creamy delicious flavor. 
If you don’t have sunflower or sesame seeds feel free to use all cashews. If you a nut allergy, use all seeds. Gluten intolerance? Use your favorite gluten free pasta as this sauce is naturally gluten (and soy) free. You can make everyone happy this week for dinner, enjoy!

Prep 10 mins ∙ Cook 20 mins ∙ Makes 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Water or veggie broth to cover
  • ⅓ cup raw cashews
  • ⅓ cup raw sunflower seeds
  • ⅓ cup raw sesame seeds or tahini
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 16 oz whole wheat pasta of choice
  • 1 jalapeño chopped and quickly sautéed (optional)
  • A handful of greens, chopped (optional)

Directions

1. Toss the sweet potato, carrots, onion and garlic in a small pot and barely cover with the water or broth. Bring to a boil and simmer 10 minuted or until soft.
2. Meanwhile, boil a large pot of water and cook the pasta according to the directions. I like to add a large handful of greens during the last 5 minutes of cooking to make it more healthy!
3. In a vitamix (if not using a high speed blender, please soak your seeds/nuts accordingly) add the cashews, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, spices and the contents of the veggie pot, including water or broth. Blend until creamy.
4. Mix together the cheesey sauce and drained pasta. Toss the jalapeño if you want so kick or serve with your favorite hot sauce.

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