This healthy twist on a comfort classic is the perfect weekday meal for the whole family, and the best part is the kids won't have a clue there's 3 veggies in there! The cashews give it a super creamy, luxurious texture while the nutritional yeast provides a distinct, salty, cheesy flavour, all topped off with either breadcrumbs or a sunflower seed topping to make it gluten free!
2 C dried macaroni pasta (or dried gluten free macaroni pasta*)
For the ‘cheese’ sauce:
½ C cashews
2 medium sized potatoes, peeled and diced into cubes
½ cauliflower, cut into small bite size pieces
2 carrots, sliced
3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
2 Tbsp tahini
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar*
1 C nut mylk
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Pink salt, to taste
Black cracker pepper, to taste
Optional crumb topping:
½ C baguette*, finely diced
or for the gluten free version:
⅓ C sunflower seeds
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and prepare an ovenproof baking dish. Set aside.
Boil a full jug of water. Soak cashews in a bowl of boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to the boil and cook your potatoes and carrots for 8-10 minutes, or until you can pierce through the carrots with a fork. Add your cauliflower florets to the pot for a few minutes at the end.
In the meantime, finely dice (or grate if you don’t want bigger pieces) the baguette for the topping and set aside. If choosing the gluten free option, simply set your sunflower seeds aside.
Once the potatoes, carrots and cauliflower are cooked, drain and set aside. Using the same pot, bring another pot of water to the boil and cook the dried macaroni for around 8 minutes or until al dente.
Add the potatoes, carrots, cauliflower and remaining cheese sauce ingredients (drained cashews, nutritional yeast, tahini, apple cider vinegar, onion and garlic powder, nut mylk and salt) to a food processor and pulse to combine. Blend for around 1-2 minutes until you have a smooth consistency. If it’s a little too thick, add a little bit more almond mylk.
Once the pasta is cooked, drain and pour back into the pot, add the sauce and mix to combine heating over medium heat. Pour into your prepared baking dish and sprinkle with your chosen topping. Season with salt and pepper.
Grill in the oven for approximately 8 minutes to brown the top (make sure to watch it so it doesn’t burn).
Serve immediately and enjoy!
*Item not available online but is available in your local GoodFor store.
Photography by Sarah aka @thesaarahproject.