This recipe is really special to me, because I grew up loving macaroni and cheese – usually the Kraft kind – but my body did not agree. Yes of course it tasted good, but it was filled with unneeded things that I could feel were doing harm to my body.
I found out that I was terribly lactose-intolerant, and unfortunately it took years for me to figure out that I had this allergy to dairy. When I ate it, I would end up in bed for hours with the really bad stomach aches and other not-so-fun symptoms. I tried switching to lactose-free milk & dairy products, but it still caused issues with my digestion and skin.
Years later, I moved out of my parents house and went to college. This is when I finally began cooking for myself, and things actually started to change for the better. I became inspired by a class I was in called Environmental Philosophy where we talked about our impact on the Earth. I made the connection that my dietary choices were affecting me, others, and the planet. I decided overnight that I was going to become vegetarian.
It took me another week to ween off dairy, as I just had a feeling (and a desire) that it would make me feel better. It’s been over 6 years now, and I can say I truly don’t miss those things, especially when I can make or buy amazing alternatives.
When I first made the transition, it was difficult to say goodbye to my favorite foods, for sure. But, it inspired me to create them for myself, though it would have to be in new ways.
That’s how this recipe was formed…
I am proud to say this recipe is a straight winner. I have served it many times to people with all kinds of diets, and just about everyone has thoroughly enjoyed it, many expressing their surprise, and complimenting me for this creation.
Of course, you can make the classic macaroni and cheese, like I love to do, or you can put it over vegetables, or whatever you can think of that a cheese sauce would go on.
Okay, without further to-do, let’s get into this… Oh wait, Ryan wants to say something…
Thanks Ry :) Okay, NOW let’s get into this creamy, rich, golden goodness!
Cashew Cheese Sauce
In order of appearance…
• 8-16 oz Pasta (this recipe will cover 16 oz. but if you make 8 oz you’ll have some sauce leftover for other uses! We love red lentil and chickpea pastas)
• 1-2 Carrots
• 1 small Onion
• 1 cup Broth or Water (I used the broth Ryan made yesterday on the Split Pea Soup recipe)
• 1 1/2 cup Cashews
• 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast
• 1/2 tbsp Turmeric Powder
• 2-3 Garlic cloves
• 2 tsp Mustard
• 1 tbps Lemon juice
• 1/4 tsp Salt
• dash of Cayenne
• 1/2 cup plant-based Milk
• 1/4 cup Water
In a large pot, boil water for pasta. Once boiling, add pasta and cook al dente (7-8 minutes).
In a smaller pot, boil the chopped carrots and onion in water or broth until veggies are tender.
In high powered blender add cashews, nutritional yeast, turmeric powder, garlic, mustard, lemon juice, salt, cayenne, almond milk, and water
Add the boiled carrots and onion with cooking liquid to blender and blend on high until it becomes a smooth consistency.
Pour cheese over, really whatever… Eat it by itself, I won’t judge.
• Let the cashews soak in the hot carrot and onion cook water when it’s all in the blender for a small period of time to soften the cashews and make it easier to blend - a few minutes is fine.
• Really any milk works good - in the past I’ve use almond, macadamia, coconut, and hemp.
Pre-prep: 10-15 minutes
Cook time: 10-12 minutes
Total: 20-30 minutes
I personally think this is best vegan cheese you can make, and with the overwhelming feedback I’ve gotten in the past from friends and family, I know you’re going to love this.
Seriously, make this. And when you do, tag us @spacenlight on Instagram or Facebook or holler at us direct at email@example.com.