Vegan Mac & Cheese with Shiitake Bacon

(Serves 6)

Ingredients:

12 oz of dried elbow macaroni noodles (or any shape of your choosing)

1/2 cup raw cashews (soaked in water overnight)

1 1/4 cups of diced, cooked sweet potato

1/2 cup of cooked, diced carrot

1/2 cup cooked, diced white onion

1 tsp EVOO

2 tsp cider vinegar

2 tsp Dijon mustard

1 cup full-fat coconut milk (canned)

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/3 cup nutritional yeast or “nooch”

1/8 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

A pinch of nutmeg

Directions:

  1. Soak your raw cashews in an uncovered container, overnight until they break apart between your fingers. This will give your cheese sauce that silky, smooth texture.
  2. Combine your diced carrots and sweet potatoes in a microwave-safe bowl and add 1/2 cup of water, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave for about 6 minutes until the veggies are tender. Meanwhile, sauté your onion in a pan with the olive oil until slightly caramelized and tender.
  3. To make your cashew sauce, drain your soaking cashews and add to your blender and pulse. Then, add your steamed carrots and sweet potatoes, sautéed onion, coconut milk, nutrition yeast, vinegar, dijon mustard, salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, turmeric, and nutmeg. Blend on high for about 2 minutes, or until velvety and smooth. Stop the blender, use a spatula to scrape the sides back into the mixture, and then blend again for an additional 2 minutes.
  4. Cook your elbow macaroni (or other desired pasta) according to the box. Drain, once the pasta is finished cooking, add the pasta back to the pot, and then top with the blender cheese sauce.

 

Shiitake Bacon (Optional)

1 lb of fresh shiitake mushrooms (thinly sliced)

1 1/2 Tbsp EVOO

1/4 tsp smoked sea salt

1/4 tsp soy sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp liquid smoke

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and place some parchment paper onto a baking sheet.
  2. Combine all ingredients except the sliced mushrooms, whisking to combine.
  3. Add the sliced shiitake mushrooms to the mixture, gently toss them, and then let them sit and absorb that smoky liquid for about 15-20 minutes.
  4. Place the shiitake mushrooms on the lined baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, then take out the tray, turn the mushrooms over, and bake for an additional 10 minutes
  5. Remove the baked mushrooms from the tray and place them onto paper towels to drain and become even crispier. Serve on top of your favorite dish…like Vegan Mac & Cheese!