Gluten-free, vegan mac and cheese
How good does this Mac and cheese look?!! Yet it’s gluten-free, vegan, and all-natural. By all-natural we mean we didn’t just melt store-bought dairy-free cheese. Although we love our Diya and —- cheese, they are heavily processed so it’s always nice to create something natural when possible!
We used cauliflower and cashews to create the cheese sauce consistency and vegetable stalk, garlic, onions, salt, and pepper for flavor. We mixed ours with broccoli and zucchini for a veggie-packed meal!
Now let’s talk about pasta. Grain-free legume pasta is on the rise but just how good does it taste? How much better is it for you? What are the best kinds? Best brands? Scroll through above to find out
The best type of legume pasta. Our favorite type is chickpea pasta. It tastes the most similar to gluten-free pasta and the consistency is the best in comparison to black bean or lentil pasta. (picture of chickpea pasta)
What is it?
Chickpea pasta is a plant-based product made out of chickpea flour.
Is it better for you?
Chickpeas are plant-based powerhouses chock-full of both protein and fiber. They also have a greater amount of iron and potassium, two key minerals crucial for circulation, in comparison to rice or wheat pasta. In addition, it is great for people with blood sugar issues because of its low glycemic index.
Will it help with weight loss?
A serving of chickpea pasta has between 28-35 carbs, which is up to 40% less than traditional versions (which have around 42-52 carbs). It is very filling which makes it great for weight management and weight loss. Simple carbs in regular pasta are digested very quickly, and that leads to increased hunger and a tendency to wolf it down since it doesn’t have very much fiber or protein. Since chickpea pasta is very filling, this it may have some cost-saving benefits too, since you won’t need to buy an extra protein to get dinner on the table!
If you are new to legume pasta, the high amounts of fiber can cause bloating and discomfort if you are not used to eating this way. So, drinking more water will help move things along.
We love Banza, Tolerant, and Barilla chickpea pasta (pictures of each brand’s pasta)
⁃3 cups cauliflower florets
⁃3 garlic cloves minced
⁃3/4 of a white onion chopped
⁃1 cup vegetable stock or water
⁃1 tbsp lemon juice
⁃1.5 tsp salt
⁃1/2 tsp pepper
⁃1 tsp soy sauce or coconut aminos
⁃1 tbsp vegan butter or ghee
⁃1/2 cup boiled cashews
⁃1 tsp olive oil
⁃Optional: 1-2 tbsp nutritional yeast (we didn’t use)
⁃Pasta of choice
1. Boil cashews in water for 15 minutes
2. In a medium-sized pot, heat the oil. Add the onion and let it cook for 5 minutes or until it is translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds
3. Add the cauliflower and the vegetable stock to the pot and let steam for 8-10 minutes or until soft
4. Transfer everything in the pot (cauliflower, vegetable stalk, onions, garlic) to a blender and add in the cashews as well
5. Add the remaining ingredients (lemon juice, salt, pepper, soy sauce, butter) to the blender and blend
6. Taste and add more salt or yeast if needed. Can also add onion or garlic powder
7. Pour over pasta right away or into a pan to keep it warm until use