This vegan macaroni and cheese one of the quickest dinners I can make when caught for time and one that disappears immediately too. My girls absolutely love this version of Mac n Cheese and they simply can't get enough of it! Which suits me perfectly, as I make sure that they eat veggies and get their daily intake of B12 too, in the form of nutritional flakes (I use fortified nooch).
The big advantage of this vegan macaroni and cheese is, that you don't have to bake it - simply put your cooked pasta straight into the pot with the sauce, stir together and enjoy straight away.
This version of macaroni and cheese sauce is based on sunflower seeds - seeds that are way cheaper than nuts (especially cashew nuts used normally for making cheeze sauces) and also, as a result of using seeds rather than nuts, it's allergy friendly! And please, don't go at me for the shape of the pasta - it IS cheaper than the traditional macaroni shape (at least here in Ireland), but also I buy my penne and few others in their wholemeal version, so...
How to make it...
- 1 cup unroasted sunflower seed kernels, pre soaked in water for 1 hour
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 medium sweet potato (or half butternut squash), diced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced or finely diced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoon corn or potato flour
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- sweet paprika for sprinkling, optional
- 500 g (dry weight) macaroni pasta (or any other of your choice), cooked as per instructions
- In a medium size pot (you need one that will fit all the sauce ingredients) sauté onions in a bit of oil with a pinch of salt for about 10 minutes, until onions are translucent and soft.
- Add sweet potato (or butternut squash) and sauté until slightly softened.
- Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds or so, then remove from heat.
- Place the sweet potato and onions in a blender or food processor. Add vegetable broth, corn/potato starch, nutritional yeast, tomato paste and sunflower seeds. Blend until very smooth.
You can also add everything to the bot and use immersion stick blender to liquidise all.
- Add more broth if you want your sauce to be thinner. The sauce needs to be smooth, with only a slight bit of graininess.
- Place the sauce back into the pot. Turn the heat up to medium and let it simmer, stirring very often, until thickened, around 10-15 minutes. Add salt and some black pepper.
- When the sauce is thick, put your cooked pasta into the pot and mix all well together. Serve immediately sprinkled with some sweet paprika.
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