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Fast & Tasty Broccoli Vegan Mac & Cheez

I can honestly say that the one and only food I've missed since turning vegan has been cheese. I was a CHEESE-A-HOLIC who craved just about every type of cheese on the planet! And although I'm very happy to have kicked that addiction to the curb, I'm always looking for plant-based ways to bring back the taste of that old "fix." So when I was dining recently at the fantastic GreenFare restaurant in Herndon, Virginia, the chef gave me a tip to try out Wicked Healthy's Cheez Sauce recipe - and Wow, I'm so glad I did! So all credit for the "Cheez Sauce" portion of this recipe goes to WickedKitchen.com! Be sure to check out ALL their amazing recipes - it's a fantastic site and resource for vegans!

Base Ingredients:


- 1 lb macaroni pasta, cooked & drained - set aside, cover and keep warm

- 1 1/2 cups broccoli florets, steamed to fork tender - set aside and keep warm


Cheez Sauce Ingredients:


- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water 1-2 hours, then drained

- 1 cup raw garlic cloves, whole

- 1 cup carrots, sliced into chunks

- 24 oz unsweetened plant-based milk (I use almond, but soy works too)

- 1 Tbsp white miso

- 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast

- 1 Tbsp sea salt (or Kosher)

- 1 tsp finely ground black pepper

- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika

- 1/4 tsp cayenne


Instructions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, add the first 3 ingredients, cover with water and bring to slow boil over medium heat, approximately 10-15 minutes. Ingredients should be fully cooked and very soft for food processor or blender.

  2. When ingredients are cooked, drain, rinse and pour them into a food processor or high-speed blender. Add all remaining ingredients, except the non-dairy milk.

  3. Pulse blend ingredients, scraping sides with a spatula, and increase the speed and duration while slowly adding the non-dairy milk, a little at a time.

  4. Continue blending at high-speed until very smooth, approximately 3-5 minutes.

  5. Add steamed broccoli to the pot of cooked macaroni, and pour the Cheez Sauce over the pasta. Stir well with a rubber spatula to coat all of the macaroni and broccoli.

  6. Spoon into bowls and enjoy!


Notes: When I make this recipe, I find that I often have leftover cheez sauce - Yum! Store the sauce in a glass jar in your refrigerator for up to 1 week (I use Mason jars for best sauce storage). Re-heat it in the microwave, and stir in some chopped jalapenos and a pinch of cumin for a great queso dip!


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