What kid doesn’t love macaroni and cheese? Oh, wait a minute for that matter, what adult doesn’t love macaroni and cheese? I know I do!
The problem with boxed macaroni and cheese is that its not just about the dairy, have you ever really looked at the list of ingredients? Even a “healthy” macaroni and cheese has many preservatives, extra fat and sugar!!
With that in mind I was on a mission to make a macaroni and cheese that my kids would eat. This was no easy task as they were used to that lovely bright yellow brand that we are all very familiar with, Kraft. I am not judging when I am in a bind and they are begging bring the Kraft on, but I really try the majority of the time to make a homemade version that they love.
Ok, so the trick is to not use the dairy alternative cheese and get them used to a mac and cheese that doesn’t glow in the dark (you may have to do a blindfold taste test the first time). Tricky but this recipe does the trick.
My kids do love this (it took twice for my son) and now they even get excited when I am making homemade mac and cheese. The panko breadcrumbs may be to much for the little ones and might be a game changer so you might want to omit them the first time (or every time for a gluten free version).
Mighty Macaroni & Cheese
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
1 cup cashews soaked for at least 1 hour in warm water
1 large potato peeled and boiled
1 medium onion
1 garlic clove
1 lb whole wheat or gluten free pasta cooked according to package
¼ cup nutritional yeast
Juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup Panko bread crumbs (optional for topping)
1 cup almond milk
¼ tsp. paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
After pasta has been cooked according to package, potato has been boiled and soft and cashews have soaked for at least 1 hour. Place cooked pasta in 9×13 pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place cashews, potato, garlic, onion, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, almond milk, and paprika in either food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste mix well.
Add cashew mixture to pasta and mix well. If the cashew cheese mixture is too thick you can add more almond milk. If using panko breadcrumbs sprinkle on top of pasta and cashew cheese and then cover with foil.
Place in heated oven until warmed all the way through (about 20 minutes). Then remove foil and cook for an additional 10 minutes so that breadcrumbs can brown slightly.
Happy & Healthy Eating!