This amazing adventure in Mac & Cauliflower cheese is written by our friend, and frequent contributor, Vegirl. This is her first MoFo and she’s blogging with us at Adventures of Vegirl!
Bring on the Mac & Cheese! (Hold the Cheese and Gluten, Please!)
Most of us did not grow up vegan. For those of you who are gluten-free, you probably didn’t grow up shunning wheat either. Cheese, bread, meat, and pasta were mainstays in the fridge and cupboards of your childhood.
Although I, admittedly, did grow up with a lot more exposure to health foods that most kids (I only found out recently that I was not among the masses when I enjoyed broccoli on homemade pizza. Go figure), I loved dairy when I was a youngster. I would make Alton Brown’s macaroni and cheese recipe (all by myself, thank you very much), which, looking back, may have contributed to the severe cramps, bloating, and headaches I got frequently at the time; complete with four tablespoons of butter and uncountable cups of full-fat cheddar cheese, I am happy to say my tastes have changed considerably for the better…. although I will forever have “the cheese button”.
Perhaps you have a “cheese button”, too? In this recipe, a strange gaggle of ingredients join together to create something that definitely begets cheese. Of course, it is not cheese, so it does not taste exactly like cheese (<— how creepy would that be?). It’s the thought that counts however, and I guarantee you will get cheesy vibes from this sauce. Pour it over some gluten-free pasta and take a trip down memory lane! Bonus: it has veggies, is low in fat, and contains nothing artificial!
Vegan [Cauliflower] Cheese Sauce
(Vegan, gluten-free, low in fat, sugar-free)
You can find orange cauliflower at the farmer’s market. Failing that, white works just fine, though the color is a bit paler. Original post on my blog, Adventures of Vegirl.
- ½ head (approx. 4 loose cups) orange cauliflower, chopped
- Up to 2 cups water, depending on you desired consistency and the dependency of your blender.
- 1 small tomato OR ¼ cup canned diced tomato OR 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 5 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 ½ tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon cashew butter (OR 2 tablespoons cashews, if you have a gung-ho blender)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon tamari OR soy sauce
- ¼ teaspoon ground tumeric
- 1/16 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Optional: maca powder (about 1 teaspoon, adds interesting flavor)
Chop the cauliflower and steam until soft. Drain the cooking water into a liquid measuring cup and top it off to get two cups. Add water as needed to allow your blender to process the cauliflower to a smooth consistency. The amount of water you use will give you anything from fondue, sauce, spread, and gel. Blend in remaining ingredients. Store leftover “cheese” in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.
Suggested uses: use as a topping or dip for cooked or raw veggies, a spread in wraps or sandwiches, or as a sauce for pasta.
For Macaroni and Cheese:
Prepare your choice of pasta (preferably whole-grain!) according to the packages instructions. Drain and rinse the pasta, and toss with sauce. If desired, cook the finished product in a pot over medium heat, stirring frequently to avoid scorching. This cooks off a bit of moisture and allows the sauce to stick better to the pasta. For a quick meal, make ahead the cheese sauce or cook it while the water boils and the pasta cooks, so that all components are ready within 20-30 minutes!