A Friday night for me, means an easier night to cook as I don’t have to be anywhere. (my days of late-night life in NYC are long gone) However, a different barrier enters — sloth. I just don’t FEEL like cooking on Friday.
So a mac ‘n’ cheese night it was. Often I make this dish with dairy cheese for the family and I sip a smoothie or have a salad, but tonight I used gluten-free pasta and indulged myself. Of course, the flour in the recipe negates the wheat-free pasta and I didn’t have any gluten-free on hand, but you could easily use a mix such as Bob’s red mill in place of the wheat flour. I also have a race in the morning so, although I no longer buy into the carb-loading principles, a little pasta sounded good.
The nutritional yeast in the sauce has vitamin B12 — a nutrient vegans often miss. Vitamin B12 deficiency is insidious, and may not appear for years after becoming vegan — once your body has gone through your stores. It shows up like anemia and can make you feel quite ill. Find nutritional yeast in the bulk bins at most natural foods stores — Whole Foods has it (that’s where I got mine!)
This sauce is also a fraction of the calories of dairy cheese sauce (seriously, I haven’t done the official breakdown, but all the calories are in the almond milk and flour)
You can also make this into a nacho cheese dip by subbing salsa for the tomato juice. I once brought it to a vegan party as a dip and was told to put it away as only vegan food was allowed. It’s that cheesy. My son loves this sauce — and he’s 7. Enjoy.
1 pound boiled pasta — I’m a fan of twisty pasta, but you choose your shape
- 1 1/2 cup almond milk – unsweetened
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast (NOT BREWER’s YEAST)
- 1/3 cup whole wheat flour (or a gluten-free option)
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Juice from one 14 oz. can of diced tomatoes. Reserve the tomatoes for another dish.
Combine all the ingredients on a sauce pan over medium heat. Whisk vigorously to get rid of the lumps in the flour. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, until it reaches desired thickness (about 5 minutes). Top a serving of pasta with 1/4 cup (0r more) of the cheese-y sauce. Enjoy.
We rounded out dinner with 1) carrot sticks for my daughter 2) mashed avocado for my son 3) no veg for my husband (suprise) 4) and a few more collards for me. Picky eaters. grr.
Time from start to finish: 6:13 pm to 6:33 pm.