vegan lower carb mac & “cheese”

February 7, 2012 by Angie

This is my lower carb vegan mac and “cheese” recipe.  No nutritional yeast or soy cheese required!  I adapted the famously delicious VegNews Vegan Macaroni & Cheese to create this when I was on Phase 2 of the South Beach Diet.

Special equipment needed:
Food processor
Slotted spoon
Colander

Ingredients:
1 box of Dreamfields elbows (You’ll have some left over.)
vegan breadcrumbs (You can make your own using a lower carb bread or some of the store-bought panko kind are vegan.)
1 c cauliflower, chopped
3 tbs green onion, diced
1/4 c carrots, chopped
1/3 c yellow onion, diced
1 c reserved water from boiling the veggies
1/3 c non-hyrdrogenated margarine (like Earth Balance)
1/4 c raw cashews
2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp garlic, minced
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbs lemon juice, freshly squeezed
black pepper, to taste
tiniest pinch of cayenne
1/4 tsp paprika

Directions:
Fill a medium-sized pot about half-way with water and start heating it up.  Do the same with a second pot to cook the Dreamfields elbows. Wash and cut up the veggies.  Once the water is boiling, place the chopped up cauliflower, green onion, carrots, and yellow onion in the pot.  Put the lid on and let them boil for 15 minutes or until they’ve softened.

While the veggies are cooking you can make the Dreamfields elbows according to the package directions.  I use about 5/6 of the box.  If you make the entire box you’ll probably not have quite enough of the “cheese” sauce to adequately to cover all the noodles.  It’s very important that you use the Dreamfields brand if you want this mac and “cheese” to be lower carb.  These are special low-glycemic noodles.  They may lose some of their effectiveness by baking them after boiling them but they’re still much lower in carbs than normal (or even wheat) pasta.

In a food processor, process the margarine, cashews, sea salt, garlic, Dijon mustard, fresh lemon juice, black pepper, and a tiny pinch of cayenne powder.

By now, your Dreamfields elbows should be ready.  Drain them right away.  Keep the dry elbows in their pot and set aside.

Once the veggies are ready, use a slotted spoon to transfer all the veggies to the food processor without the water.  Do not use a colander and throw out the water! You will need it in a second.  Okay, now scoop up about 3/4 c of that reserved veggie water and put it into the food processor.  Process everything together until it becomes a smooth liquid.

Preheat your oven to 350.

Pour the “cheese” mixture from the food processor right into the pot you used to boil the pasta.  Mix it up so that all the elbows are covered with “cheese” sauce.

Pour the “cheese”-covered elbows into an 8″ x 8″ glass baking dish.  You could use a bigger, shallower 9″ x 12″ casserole dish if you prefer that.  Sprinkle a thin layer of breadcrumbs on top followed by the 1/4 tsp of paprika.  Don’t go crazy on the breadcrumbs – carbs, people!

Bake on the middle rack for 35-45 minutes if using the 8″ x 8″ pan and more like 30 minutes for the shallower 9″ x 12″.  When the sauce is bubbling and the top is browned, it’s ready to eat.

Cute Husband doesn’t care much for “real” mac & cheese but he loves this version!

 


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