Vegan Cauliflower Mac & Cheese
There have been many adventures since my last post, my most recent adventure motivated me to cook a delicious filling dinner. This past weekend I joined a new friend, Allyson, in Yosemite – Tuolumne where we camped, rock climbed multi pitch domes, and sunbathed yoga with one of the rangers. I made a goal in 2019 to get better at rock climbing outdoors. I’ve been climbing many weekends outdoors and also taken classes through Saano on both multi pitch and anchor building.
Allyson was a wonderful teacher each step of the way explaining trad placement and anchors. She also shares the same passion of vegetarianism and humane treatment of animals. We enjoyed delicious vegetarian meals on our adventure. I came home famished, and craving something filling. This recipe is rich with both carbs, anti inflammatory herbs, and nutrients to restore the body after an adventurous weekend.
Health note- Cauliflower hosts a list of benefits including keeping bones healthy through collagen production, vitamin c and k, strengthening the immune system, reducing cancer and Cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables contain Indole-3-carbinol, a phytonutrient that has been shown to aid the liver in its detox functions.
· 1/4 cup refined coconut oil
· 1 shallot thinly sliced (optional)
· 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
· 2 tsp ground mustard
· 1/4 tsp ground turmeric (optional, for color)
· 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
· 2 cloves garlic thinly sliced
· 1 tsp salt
· 3 and 1/2 cups plain, unsweetened almond milk
· 3 tbsp white or yellow miso
· 3 and 1/2 cups raw cauliflower florets (12 oz.) (approximately 1/2 inch florets)
· 3/4 cup raw cashews chopped
· 1 pound elbow macaroni or other pasta of choice (I almost always use whole wheat)
· 1/2 tbsp distilled white vinegar
· hemp parmesan (optional, for serving)
1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. If using the optional shallot, add it and stir, cooking until slightly softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add the nutritional yeast, mustard, turmeric, tomato paste, garlic, and salt. Stir and cook for about 45 seconds, or until fragrant. Add the almond milk, scraping the bottom of the pan as you stir it in. Bring to a steady simmer.
2. Add the miso, cauliflower, and cashews to the pan, reduce the heat to medium-low, and partially cover the pan. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is fork-tender, about 20 minutes.
3. Add the mixture to your blender (working in batches if needed; I divide this in half to use in my Ninja) and blend until completely smooth. If you don't have a high-powered blender this may take a few minutes to break down the cashews. Stop to scrape down the sides as needed. Set aside when done.
4. Meanwhile, cook your pasta in a pot of generously-salted water. Cook until al dente, according to package instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta (but do not rinse it), leaving it in the strainer.
5. Add the pureed cauliflower mac and cheese sauce to the pot, and turn the heat to medium low. Cook, stirring frequently, until gently simmering. Stir in the cooked pasta, the white vinegar, and a splash of the pasta water. Continue to cook until the sauce is slightly thickened onto the pasta. Add more of the pasta water to thin out the sauce as needed.
6. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper and serve immediately.
Hi, I am Emma Wilkiemeyer.
Welcome to Slice of Emma recipe blog featuring healthy recipes that are vegan and based on whole foods. For the past twelve years I have shared recipes with friends and family and past two years through my blogging. I completed a certification at Southwest Institute of Healing Arts in Arizona in Holistic Nutrition. I take pride in that my recipes are not only delicious, but the science behind them makes for ingredients that nurture and balance the body. My recipes are all gluten free and vegan. My full time career is working in the oncology bio-tech space. Working around patients who are very sick has taught me the value of living a healthy lifestyle each and every day in order to lower the risk of disease later in life. My whole foods diet keeps me energized to work hard and fuel my fitness routine. Slice of Emma will also feature not only my voracious appetite in the kitchen but also my travel adventures including mountain hikes sometimes shared with Jes the CCC and international travel.
Please reach out to me anytime you have a question whether it be about travel or my recipes. I am excited to share my passion and creativity with you. Whether you are an experienced cook, or just getting started with a plant based diet I hope to have something that excites and helps you love healthy and compassionate cooking. My life recipe is simple- Nourish the body with clean food and exercise, and feed the soul with life’s rich experiences whether it be through getting out in nature or positive relationships with the people in my life. ::
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