Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Buffalo Cauliflower Mac & “Cheese” (Vegan)

Recipe from Choosingchia.com
Adapted and Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen
6-8 servings

I am learning that I can have my favorite comfort food, mac and cheese, without cheese.  What?!  This dish featuring cauliflower, zucchini (or summer squash), whole-grain macaroni is just scrumptious.  What makes it cheesy?  The answer to that question is a sauce made with soaked cashews, nutritional yeast and water.  To spice it up a bit, there some hot sauce in the mix as well.  The original recipe called for only macaroni, but I added some summer squash for half of the pasta.  This dish is good enough for company.  I’m pretty sure that you can make the cauliflower and the sauce in advance and store them in the fridge until it’s time to put it all together.

1 head cauliflower, separated into bite-sized florets
1 Tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce

½ cup raw cashews, soaked overnight in water (or pour boiling water over the cashews and allow to soak for 1 hour or so)
1½ cups water (not soaking water)
1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast
2 Tablespoons Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
½ teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt

¾ cup whole-grain or whole wheat macaroni
¾ cup spiralized or shredded zucchini or summer squash
(OR 1½ cups whole-grain or whole wheat macaroni)
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
½ Tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup or so whole-wheat or whole-grain breadcrumbs for topping (optional)

Preheat the oven to 425F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Toss the cauliflower in olive oil, salt, and paprika.  Spread out the cauliflower on the baking sheet.  Bake for 15-20 minutes.  Remove from the oven, toss the cauliflower with ¼ cup hot sauce.  Return the pan to the oven and bake another 5-10 minutes.  Set aside.  Drain and rinse the cashews.  Place the cashews, 1 ½ cups water, 1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast, 2 Tablespoons hot sauce and salt into a high speed blender.  Blend on high until smooth.  (The sauce will be a bit thin at this point.  Don’t worry, it will thicken up later.) Cook the macaroni according to the package directions so that it is al dente.  Drain.  Set aside.  Heat ½ Tablespoon olive oil in a 12-inch oven-proof skillet.  Add the garlic and stir about 1 minute.  Add the cauliflower, the zucchini (if using), the macaroni and the “cheese” sauce to the skillet and toss to mix.  Allow to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes.  The sauce should thicken up as it cooks.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. You can serve it at this point.  If using the breadcrumbs, remove the skillet from the heat and sprinkle on a thin layer of breadcrumbs.  Place the skillet under the broiler for about 1 minute or until the breadcrumbs are toasty brown.  Serve.

Nutritional Information: (1 of 6 servings)

Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving

% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8.3g
Saturated Fat 1.5g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 276mg
Total Carbohydrate 21.9g
Dietary Fiber 3.5g
Total Sugars 2.3g

Protein 6.4g

Vitamin D 0mcg
Calcium 37mg
Iron 2mg
Potassium 325mg