Emily Webber’s Low-Fat VEGAN Cauliflower Mac & Cheeze

If you are a former cheese addict like me who could easily go back to eating cheese (if it weren’t for the million and one reasons not to), this is just the thing to get you through those occasional cheese cravings.  It is the ultimate American comfort food – seriously rich and creamy, but lighter and healthier with a big nutritional boost coming from cauliflower – a vegetable rich in sulforaphane – a powerful cancer-fighting phytochemical.  Simply by replacing half the cashews with cooked yellow squash, the rich cashew cream sauce, which tastes remarkably cheesy, is lower in fat than a typical cashew cream sauce.  Serve with a green vegetable such as peas or green beans and a green salad.

Note:  The recipe for the sauce makes a little more than you need.  Use only about ¾ of the sauce to pour over the cauliflower mac & cheese.  Save the rest to drizzle over steamed broccoli later in the week.  The sauce will keep for about 5 days in the fridge. 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound whole wheat elbow macaroni
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • Cheese sauce
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1 1/2 cups steamed yellow summer squash, (steamed for about 5-7 minutes) (about 2 cups raw)
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons yellow miso
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons ume plum vinegar (available at natural and health food stores)
  • A few turns freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup water (adjust quantity to make sauce thick or thin to your preference)

Directions

  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions, adding the cauliflower during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
  2. To make the sauce, place the cashews, cooked squash, nutritional yeast, miso, lemon juice, ume plum vinegar, a bit of pepper and water in a high-powered blender (a regular blender will do, it will just take a bit longer – stop periodically to avoid burning out the motor).
  3. Drain cauliflower and pasta and stir in cheese sauce.  Serve immediately.

Recipe by Emily Barth Webber, 2010. www.emilywebber.com 

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