Ever since my daughter has gone dairy-free, about a year now, she’s craved mac n cheese. She’s never really been a big fan of it prior to but I’ve tried many recipes, created an equal amount of recipes until now. She gave this one a big two thumbs up! In fact my husband was also a huge fan – much to her chagrin. I need to get on soaking more cashews to make another batch of this for her.
This recipe is a great start but I always encourage you to sample and adjust seasonings to achieve the perfect final product. This is packed with flavor – trust me! We aren’t afraid of spice in my house but proceed cautiously if you don’t like spicy foods and omit things that you have concerns about. This sauce is perfectly creamy and quite heavenly. It is the best vegan creamy “cheese” sauce I’ve ever made or tasted. I hope you enjoy it.
1.25 cups raw cashews
3/4 cup of water
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon chili powder (I used a Chipotle chili powder)
2 cloves garlic
1/4 teaspoon of turmeric
Pinch or more of cayenne pepper depending on your spice preference
1 heaping tablespoon grainy mustard (I used Maille Dijon)
Soak your cashews overnight (or at least 8 hours) in fresh, purified water – completely covered. Right before preparing this recipe, drain and rinse the nuts. Let them drain for a few minutes then add them to your high powered blender. Add your cashews and fresh, purified water and blend on the highest setting for about 45 seconds-1 minute. Then add the remaining ingredients. Blend again on the highest setting for about a minute or two. Stop and taste the mixture. Adjust whatever flavors you need to. Add water or juice for a looser sauce if necessary. Add more salt etc. to your preference. Once blended, I spoon out into a tupperware container and refrigerate until needed – the mixture will be warm because of the centrifugal power of the blender.
You can use this delicious cheese sauce over pasta – how we used it. Make your pasta according to package directions. Drain and reserve a bit of the cooking water. Add some cheese sauce to the drained pasta (about 3/4 of the prepared sauce) and stir. Serve immediately. Reserve extra sauce for reheating and adding to the pasta which tends to dry out when stored.
Dip: You can use this as a dip – once chilled, with veggies, tortilla chips, pita bread or whatever you like. Perfect as a top of vegan nachos as well.
I finished up last week with 50.50 miles of running. I’ve been neglecting my cycling and strength training… this week I’m back on it. Cooler mornings capture my running heart -which forces me outside and away from the gym.
Sunday: Cycling about 20 miles – I wasn’t keeping track as we took an easier ride because my legs were fatigued.
Monday: 15 outdoor miles
I’m still running with the focus on my heart rate. My goal is to keep it anywhere from 155-165 bpm during my specific distance. So my pace varies per run depending on the weather, how much fuel I’ve had, sleep etc. After my last marathon and erratic heart rate -I’ve learned that I need to get this under control more than worrying about pace or race time. Running long runs should be done 60-90 seconds slower than race pace and I’ve been fortunate that I’ve been hitting that target. Today was hard with 93% humidity and sore knees but I got it done. Just freaking run -thanks Emily!
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That’s it from here. Off to eat lunch and resume working in the kitchen and playing taxi driver.
— Knead to Cook