Mains/ Recipes/ Savory

Smoky Vegan Mac and Cheese with Brussel Sprouts

My ideal weekend evening is spent with good friends, good food, and good wine.  So here I was on a Friday night, trekking to Gramercy to meet up with two of my childhood friends.  We had grown up together in St. Louis and recently found our way back into one another’s lives—a benefit of living in NYC. Lives seem to criss-cross here.

One of my friends happens to be gluten-free and vegan.  Although it can sometimes make for a challenging dinner out, I saw this as the perfect opportunity to test a recipe.

Let me tell you: there are very few non-intimidating vegan and gluten-free recipes out there.  They call for rare flours, nutritional yeasts, and a slew of ingredients that I would never use again.

Below is a simplified recipe for vegan mac and cheese, adapted from The Post Punk KitchenIt is.  Delectable.  And minimalist approved!

Ingredients:

2 cups of brussels, trimmed and quartered

1 cup of cashews (soak in advance for at least 2 hours)*

4 chipotles (we purchased a small can of pre-seeded chipotle peppers)

1 cup of vegetable broth

2 cloves of garlic

1 package of macaroni noodles (we subbed GF quinoa pasta)

Salt, pepper, and olive oil

*My friend accidentally left the cashews soaking in a bowl of water all day.  Although the world wide highway of information informed us that they would go bad, they were totally fine and tasty as hell.

Directions:

Boil the pasta as directed on package.

I usually roast brussel sprouts but decided to sauté them for this recipe.  Mince 1 clove of garlic and sauté with a bit of oil (1 tablespoon) until golden.  Add the brussel sprouts, salt, and pepper.  Continue to sauté the brussels on medium heat, stirring often.  I like them browned and crispy.

For the sauce, drain the cashews and place them into a blender.  Pour in the cup of broth and blend until smooth.  Add in chipotle peppers and garlic clove.  Blend until smooth.

Drain the macaroni noodles and return to sauce pan.  Add in cashew sauce and brussel sprouts and cook over low heat for 3-5 minutes, stirring often.  Add a few grinds of sea salt.  Serve and enjoy! We served our mac and cheese with a kale, almond, and pear salad.

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Friday night done right.

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