Dairy and Gluten Free Mac and Cheese

Who doesn’t crave creamy comfort food every now and then?  I have learned that you don’t have to sacrifice good nutrition to get this indulgent treat! During my 1st pregnancy I craved mac and cheese almost every day of my first trimester. It doesn’t take a genius to read the ingredients off of a mac and cheese box to see how unhealthy it is, especially with all the junky additives, processed cheese, white flour, artificial colors and flavors.

For my 2nd pregnancy I started to crave mac and cheese again, but decided to indulge in a healthier way. I discovered at a vegan restaurant how amazing soaked cashew cheese was. I was blown away that I couldn’t tell the difference! Cashew cheese is creamy and also nutritious. Cashews are an excellent source of copper, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, and zinc. Another bonus is that cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts. After playing around with a few recipes I discovered an easy and delicious way to make this awesome non-dairy, gluten free comfort food!

Dairy and Gluten free Mac and Cheese:

2 cups raw cashews (soaked 4-6 hrs)
3 cloves garlic (or 2 Tbsp granulated garlic)
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. djon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. tumeric (optional)
*You may need to add a little water (3 or 4 Tbsp.) if consistency seems too think
1 package of gluten free pasta. I recommend DeBoles Gluten Free Qunioa Plus Golden Pasta or Multi Grain Penne (5 gr. protein per serving).
Begin by soaking cashews. Once they have soaked 4-6hrs., discard the water and rinse.  Put the cashews in to a food processor/blender along with all of the other ingredients.  Blend the ingredients until smooth. Pour sauce over cooked pasta. I sometimes add in roasted broccoli and/or black beans and mix the pasta and cheese all together 🙂
*Nutritional yeast has a great cheesy flavor and contains B vitamins, folic acid and protein! It is great on popcorn and in soups/stews too! I highly recommend Bragg’s Nutritional yeast
*Most gluten free products are filled with high carb/starch ingredients like rice and corn flour or potato starch. I highly recommend looking for healthier gluten free ingredients included in your pasta, like qunioa, millet, amaranth, flax or almond flour etc.
Enjoy this creamy indulgent meal, without the unhealthy ingredients! For a different variation, here is my husband’s spicy, roasted red pepper cashew cheese recipe-Enjoy!