Veggie Mac’ n Cheese

This variation of  Mac’ n Cheese is nutrient dense– and puts boxed Mac’ n Cheese to shame! Cashews are the base for the “cheese” sauce, which provides healthy fats, fiber, and protein. Chop the veggies nice and small, then mix into the cheese sauce to encourage picky eaters to eat more veggies.  Swapping in lentil noodles for whole wheat noodles can also boost the amount of protein in this meal. Tolerant lentil noodles are my personal favorite since they don’t have any additives and are just lentils! I have found them discounted at places like Home Goods. However, feel free to explore some other noodles. Try to get higher fiber variations. A good rule of thumb: there should be 3 grams of fiber for every 15 grams of carbohydrates— 1 to 5 ratio— on the ingredient list.

Veggie Mac' n Cheese
Serves 4
This variation of Mac’ n Cheese is nutrient dense-- and puts boxed Mac’ n Cheese to shame!
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Veggies
  1. 1 tsp minced garlic
  2. 1 medium onion
  3. 2 cups Brussels sprouts
  4. 2 cups broccoli
  5. 1 medium tomato
  6. 2-4 cups greens (e.g. kale, spinach)
  7. 1- 6 oz packages of green lentil elbow or shell noodles (or other whole wheat or bean noodles)
Cheese sauce
  1. 1/2 cup cashews
  2. 3/4 cup water
  3. 1 tsp turmeric
  4. 2 tsp chili powder
  5. 3/4 cup nutritional yeast
  6. Salt and pepper (to taste)
  7. *see notes for optional add ins.
Instructions
  1. Wash and chop the veggies. First sauté the onions and garlic until they are translucent. Then add the Brussels sprouts, continue to stir. Then add the broccoli, tomatoes, and greens. Cook until desired texture.
  2. While the veggies are cooking, prepare the noodles as directed on the package.
  3. Blended all the cheese sauce ingredients together until smooth.
  4. Once the noodles are finished. Drain off the liquid and pour in the cheese sauce. Mix well. Add more plant-based milk if desired.
  5. Either stir the veggies into the mac’ n cheese or serve on top of the noodles.
  6. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. If you don’t have a strong blender, soak cashews in warm water for 30 minutes. Adjust seasonings for taste. This is a pretty mild cheese sauce for kiddos. For a spicy cheese, add more chili powder and/ or some cayenne. For a savory cheese sauce, add some thyme and more garlic or try adding sage. optional to also add 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp of onion powder, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, and 1/2 tsp paprika.
Kristina DeMuth http://stonebreakerswebgroup.com/