Broccoli with cheese sauce provides even more veggie power.
Mac and Cheese goes Totally Vegan
A year ago I posted a recipe for Healthy Mac and Cheese that not only greatly reduced the amount of cheese and fat in the traditional mac and cheese but also provided extra servings of veggies. I did this by blending butternut squash into the cheese sauce.
I continued to work on this recipe to totally eliminate the cheese and I think I finally did it! This dairy free, vegan cheese sauce can also be used on broccoli or cauliflower. Just think, instead of negating the benefits of eating healthy veggies like broccoli and cauliflower by smothering them with fatty, high calorie cheese sauce, you can now double the benefits by smothering them with even more healthful veggies that just look and taste like cheese sauce! This recipe also provides vitamin B12 from the nutritional yeast, critical for vegans and vegan children.
Vegan Cheese Sauce
[Makes 2 1/2 cups, enough for 8 ounces of pasta]
1/2 small onion, chopped, (about 1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cups butternut squash, diced
2 tablespoons reserved cooking water from squash
1/2 cup silken tofu, (4 ounces)
1 tablespoon vegan buttery spread
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, (or to taste)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
On medium low heat, in a small saucepan, sauté the onion in olive oil until soft, about 4 or 5 minutes.
Steam the butternut squash and reserve some of the cooking water.
Place sautéed onion, steamed squash, 2 tablespoons of the cooking water, silken tofu, vegan buttery spread, nutritional yeast, salt, cayenne, garlic powder and lemon juice in a high speed blender and process until smooth, hot and steamy, a minute or more. Use immediately on cooked pasta or on steamed veggies.
Per 1/2 cup serving: 77 calories, 3.5 g fat, 0.7 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 3.2 g protein, 9.6 g carbohydrates and 2.3 g dietary fiber.
Vegan Mac and Cheese
[makes 4 main dish servings or 6 side servings]
8 ounces of elbow pasta
2 1/2 cups vegan cheese sauce
Prepare pasta according to package. Drain and return to pot.
Add hot vegan cheese sauce and stir well.
Per 4 main dish servings: 296.2 calories, 5.4 g fat, 0.9 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 11.0 g protein, 53.9 g carbohydrates and 4.9 g dietary fiber.
Per 6 side servings: 197.5 calories, 3.6 g fat, 0.6 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 7.3 g protein, 36.0 g carbohydrates and 3.3 g dietary fiber.
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