Okay, so don't hate me just yet. I know I'm mostly a carnivorous food blogger, but I decided that I just had to try something completely out of my realm and out of my comfort zone. I really do love to try new things, and vegan is really really new to my palate. Somehow I convinced my meat-eating boyfriend to try this with me, but promised to take him out for burgers at a local favorite The Stand if it wasn't any good. And guess what, we ate the whole bowl. Now, don't get me wrong, this doesn't taste exactly like your standard cheesy mac, but I gotta admit, it was pretty damn good. I did, however, have a few kitchen mishaps in the making of this, so the flavor was probably not as spot on as it could have been, but it was still delicious. So this one goes out to all of you vegans out there! Cheers to cashew "cheese"!
- 10 oz. pasta shells of your choosing (I used whole wheat)
- 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 white onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup raw cashews, cover in water and soak overnight
- 1 1/2 cups homemade or low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp. corn starch
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 3/4 tsp. chili powder
- 2 tbsp. nutritional yeast (I found mine at Sprouts Farmer's Market in the baking aisle)
- 1 large roasted green chili pepper, diced (or use a small diced can from the grocery store)
- fresh cilantro for garnish
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the boxed directions. Drain and set aside, covering them with a towel so that they stay warm and soft.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the onion and garlic until onions begin to turn translucent and garlic becomes fragrant, stirring occasionally; about 5-7 minutes.
Now drain the cashews and discard the water that they had soaked in. Add the cashews, cooked onion and garlic, vegetable broth, corn starch, cumin, chili powder, yeast, and 1/2 of the green chilis into a blender and puree until smooth.
Once the mixture is smooth add it into the pot that you cooked the noodles in over medium heat and allow the "cheese sauce" to thicken for a couple of minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the cooked pasta in with the sauce and stir until the noodles are covered in the sauce. Add in the other half of the green chilies and stir to combine.
Serve immediately in large bowls and garnish with chopped cilantro. Who knew eating vegan could be this delicious?
Adapted from this recipe