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Root Vegetable “Mac & Cheezy” Casserole

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Potluck meals are my favorite. Food is one of the best ways to bring people together. I try to accommodate every palette when I make vegan food so no one feels like they’re missing out on anything. It can be a challenge but this mac and “cheese” recipe even fooled 2 of my 5-year old nieces so much they ate 2 plate fulls and didn’t know it was kinda healthy for them 🙂

Further Food Commentary:

This healthy, delicious fake-out dish is perfect for vegetarians, vegans, and those following gluten-free or dairy-free diets. Sweet potato puree and coconut milk create the flavorful sauce rich in potassium and vitamin C, with "cheesy"-tasting nutritional yeast offering vitamin B12, iron and protein. If desired, add a boost of protein and healthy fats by sprinkling ground cashews over top.

​Note: Keep sodium and added fats in check using raw (unsalted, unroasted) cashews. Be sure to taste before adding extra salt, as the nutritional yeast has a naturally rich, somewhat "salty" flavor.

By Heather Goesch, MPH, RDN, LDN
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Root Vegetable “Mac & Cheezy” Casserole

Stars ( Reviews)

  • Prep Time:15 mins
  • Cook Time:20 mins
  • Servings: 6

Ingredients

1/2 package organic gluten-free pasta
1 15oz can of organic sweet potato puree
1/3 can unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 red onion (chopped)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
1/2 lemon
2 teaspoons paprika
2 sprigs parsley
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 bunch of kale or 1 bunch of spinach (finely chopped)
salt and pepper (to taste)
1 teaspoon cayenne (optional, for an extra kick!)

 

Optional Topping:
1 cup of cashews (to make cashew “parmesan”)*

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Boil water for pasta and throw in a little olive oil so the pasta doesn’t stick together. Make sure to read the instructions on the back of the pasta you buy. (Gluten free pasta has a tendency to really fall apart if its overcooked.)

 

For the Sauce:

  1. While you’re waiting for the pasta water to boil, in a food processor/blender, add the sweet potato, coconut milk, red onion, garlic, lemon, paprika, parsley, dijon mustard, nutritional yeast, and salt/pepper and puree until smooth.
  2. After the pasta is cooked, drain it and immediately add it back to the pot with a tiny bit of olive oil to keep it from sticking. The reason for this is because we want a little bit of that starchy pasta water to help sauce stick to the pasta.
  3. Add the sauce from the blender and the greens to the pasta. Fold it all together until it is fully incorporated and the pasta looks like its been smothered in cheesy sauce.
  4. Transfer the mac and cheese into a casserole dish and bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes until it warms through. Serve hot!

*OPTIONAL: If you’d like to use “cashew parmesan” on top, all you have to do put the cashews into a dry food blender and pulse them (don’t grind them) until they look like bread crumbs.
-Top the mac and cheese with this cashew meal and back in the oven for 5-7 minutes or until the cashew parmesan turns golden brown.

Preheat oven to 425F. Boil water for pasta and throw in a little olive oil so the pasta doesn’t stick together. Make sure to read the instructions on the back of the pasta you buy. (Gluten free pasta has a tendency to really fall apart if its overcooked.)   For the Sauce: While you’re waiting for the pasta water to boil, in a food processor/blender, add the sweet potato, coconut milk, red onion, garlic, lemon, paprika, parsley, dijon mustard, nutritional yeast, and salt/pepper and puree until smooth. After the pasta is cooked, drain it and immediately add it back to the pot with a tiny bit of olive oil to keep it from sticking. The reason for this is because we want a little bit of that starchy pasta water to help sauce stick to the pasta. Add the sauce from the blender and the greens to the pasta. Fold it all together until it is fully incorporated and the pasta looks like its been smothered in cheesy sauce. Transfer the mac and cheese into a casserole dish and bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes until it warms through. Serve hot! *OPTIONAL: If you’d like to use “cashew parmesan” on top, all you have to do put the cashews into a dry food blender and pulse them (don’t grind them) until they look like bread crumbs. -Top the mac and cheese with this cashew meal and back in the oven for 5-7 minutes or until the cashew parmesan turns golden brown.

Nutrition Information

Per Serving:  Calories: 219; Total Fat: 2g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 200mg; Potassium: 272mg; Carbohydrate: 45g; Fiber: 5g; Sugar: 6g; Protein: 7g

Nutrition Bonus: Vit A: 217%; Vit C: 97%; Iron: 18%

 

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