Vegan Mac 'n Cheese

Is anyone craving some serious Autumn comfort food?

Want to breathe a sigh of relief? 
You are not alone and it's completely normal.
As the weather changes our bodies naturally want to prepare for the colder months ahead by eating more carbs, starches, and warm food.

There's no need to fight it! Listen to your body, it has innate wisdom. 

HOWEVER, we can be smart and make upgrades to what we might want to reach for - enter 

Whilst the ingredients might look odd, I PROMISE you this tastes SO GOOD! Plus it is super quick and simple to make (as all my recipe recommendations are!)

  • 1 butternut squash 
  • 200g coconut milk 
  • 1 tsp veg stock 
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast* 
  • 1 tsp paprika 
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder (optional)
  • 250 g gluten-free macaroni 
  • Pepper & salt 
  1. Peel and chop the butternut squash, steam for 15 minutes 
  2. Use a little of the steaming water to blend squash into a puree 
  3. Cook macaroni 
  4. On the hob heat the puree with the coconut milk and add the additional ingredients 
  5. Add macaroni and put in a serving dish 
  6. Bake in the oven for 10 -15 minutes 
I love to pair this dish with crispy kale on top. 

* If you're new to vegan cooking I can hear you saying, Hold up! What the heck is nutritional yeast?
Dried nutritional yeast flakes differ from active and beer yeasts because, after being grown commercially, the yeast is heat-treated to deactivate it, so it cannot ferment. 
Its special appeal is a relatively high flavour profile that is distinctly cheese-like and thus it can give a parmesan-style kick to vegan and vegetarian dishes.
Nutritional yeast is a great source of B vitamins (except B12, so it's often fortified - which is important for us veggies!) Nutritional yeast also contains some protein. 
You can find nutritional yeast in large supermarkets, health food stores and online. You store it in a cool, dry pantry cupboard. 

Crispy kale: 

  • Tear kale off the stem and lay in a baking tray
  • Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 dessertspoon of Lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, and 1 dessertspoon of tamari/soy sauce. 
  • Massage and bake for 10-15 minutes. 
If you have hung around with me for more than a minute you'll know that my philosophy is not one of deprivation. Simply by switching out some ingredients and adding others in you can still enjoy a bit of what you're craving without it leaving you feeling bloated, guilty and heavy. It's just about understanding what ingredients you can use instead. 

Grab a copy of my Complete Gluten-Free Guide to find out my favourite gluten-free pantry staples, other delicious, quick and simple gluten-free recipes and what the deal with gluten is anyway! 

*This recipe has been adapted from Aine Carlin's 'Macaro-no cheese.'  

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