Boy oh boy do we have some good news for you today!
You’ve asked us to do a Conscious Cleanse makeover to the ultimate comfort food and the day has finally arrived!
Healthy mac and cheese is here!
We’re so lucky to live in Boulder, where our choices for healthy and nourishing food is readily available. When we met Christine Ruch, owner and chef extraordinaire behind Fresh Thymes Eatery, we felt an instant connection. Not to mention that Jo and I have both been obsessing over the food from Fresh Thymes for some time now.
Inspired by her own experiences living with celiac disease and multiple sclerosis, Christine knows all about how real, nourishing food can make all the difference in your health. For years, she has effectively managed both of her conditions with clean eating and a cheerful outlook (seriously, this lady knows how to laugh), so now she proudly credits her improved wellbeing to the power of good nutrition.
Christine was nice enough to share with us Fresh Thymes’ recipe for vegan mac and cheese with cashew cream sauce so you can enjoy the down-home deliciousness of healthy homemade mac and cheese too.
This dish is a perfect replacement for the traditional dairy-based mac and cheese out there. Not to mention it’s very kid-friendly. They’ll never miss the boxed stuff again.
When I make this for my family, I make the kiddos and hubbie brown rice penne pasta from Tinkyåda and make myself kelp or raw zucchini noodles. Add to that some sautéd mushrooms and greens and you’ve got one healthy family-friendly dish.
While this recipe definitely falls into the 80:20 category, it can be modified pretty easily to be cleanse-friendly by simply omitting the nutritional yeast in exchange for a few simple tweaks (see below for details). When you’re not cleansing, the nutritional yeast gives it that “cheesy” flavor and an extra hit of B vitamins and protein.
Check out this easy and delicious vegan mac and cheese dish and be sure to leave me a comment below. Does this satisfy your mac attack cravings?
With love and creamy goodness,
Fresh Thymes’ Mac and Cheese with Cashew Cream Sauce
Yield: 4-6 servings
- 1 small white onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
- 1 TB. olive oil
- 1 cup cashews, soaked for at least 1 hour
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups coconut milk
- ½ cup nutritional yeast*
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
To make the sauce, warm a sauté pan over medium heat adding the olive oil, onion and garlic. Sauté until translucent. Remove from heat and allow it to cool.
Meanwhile, in a Vita-Mix or other high-speed blender, add cashews, water, coconut milk, nutritional yeast*, lemon, salt and garlic powder. Then add the cooled onion and garlic.
Turn blender on, gradually increasing speed to high. Blend on high for 3 minutes, or until the sauce is creamy and no bits of nuts remain. Taste for seasoning.
Prepare your noodles by following the directions on the back of the package. Options are brown rice noodles (for 80:20), kelp noodles or make zucchini noodles using a spiralizer.
Place the amount of sauce you would like in a saucepan and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes until it thickens, adding noodles as desired. Season with salt and pepper to taste and enjoy.
The sauce makes more than you need for 4-6 servings and will keep for up to a week refrigerated.
Option to serve with sautéd spinach and mushrooms.
*To keep this 100% cleanse-friendly, omit the nutritional yeast and add extra 1/2 onion, 1 garlic clove and 1/2 lemon juiced to recipe. Serve with either kelp or zucchini noodles.