In this maiden voyage of Lifeyum TV, two versions of family-friendly vegan Mac+Cheese.

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Healthy Mac & Cheese

Kind of a melding together of Kris Carr and Roberto Martin

This recipe requires a good blender, more ingredients and preparation time, but is made with less processed ingredients than the next recipe (better for you).

Yield: 4-6 servings

-1 8 oz package of gluten-free pasta (we use quinoa blend or brown rice elbow)
-3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
-juice of 1/2 lemon
-1/4 cup filtered water
-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (in the video I used 1/4 cup soy-free earth balance buttery spread; I’ve scratched that for this version)
-2 cup raw cashews, soaked in water 4 or more hours to soften
-2 cloves fresh garlic (in the video I minced first…silly Lisa isn’t used to having the dreamy Vitamix)
-1 teaspoon ground mustard seed

Place all the ingredients (except for the noodles!) in your Vitamix or food processor.  Set aside and prepare the pasta.

Once pasta is cooked al dente, drain in colander and pour back in your pot. Pour sauce mixture over your warm pasta and stir with a wooden spoon.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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Five Ingredient Vegan Mac+Cheese

This super easy vegan, gluten-free comfort dish is truly delicious! Inspired when we were out-of-town without a food processor, the secret ingredient — nutritional yeast — gives a nice yellow, cheesy color to the pasta and packs in some B Complex and protein to boot.

When I first made this, it was intentionally simple and made to look like the dreaded boxed Mac+Cheese we all know so well (the artificially colored and flavored stuff that tasted almost like plastic). Feel free to play with the ingredients, especially modifying it to appeal to grown-up tastes.

Mommified my vegan pasta by adding black beans...

Mommified my vegan pasta by adding black beans and avocado: Fab!

Yield: 4-6 servings

1) 8 oz package of gluten-free pasta (we use quinoa blend or brown rice elbow)
2) 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
3) 1/4-1/3 cup earth balance soy-free buttery spread
4) 1/4 cup soy-free vegenaise
5) 2-3 garlic cloves, minced (my kids love garlic, but feel free to hold out on this if the raw garlic doesn’t work for you or your little—or big!—customers)

Cook the pasta until al dente according to the package directions. Drain and pour back in empty, warm pot. Gradually, beginning with the buttery spread, begin mixing in four ingredients.


My friend Amber recently shared some bummer news with me about vegenaise from this blog. Lots of good points in the piece written about all but the soy-free version that I recommend (perhaps written before it came out), and ultimately it’s your call.

Here’s the ingredient list on Follow Your Heart’s soy-free vegenaise:

Soy-free vegenaise ingredients

My take is that when you’re looking to make something that your kids/spouse/special friend will like and that will help lean them in a whole new direction about food, it’s a good thing.

And so is awareness, so keep it coming!

I recently learned from another friend that the popularity of quinoa is causing it to become unaffordable in its native lands. In turn, the shift to processed foods (white bread, pasta, and even coca-cola) and corresponding malnutrition now faces Bolivians. Our health bringing another’s peril, unsuspectingly; ironically. Read the New York Times piece here. It gave me pause.

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Some of my mainstay inspirations:

Kris Carr: and her Crazy Sexy Kitchen
Roberto Martin’s Cooking for Carnivores
Angela Liddon’s Oh She Glows
Eat Awesome, a regular person’s guide to plant-based, whole foods. (an e-book by Paul Jarvis)
Be Well Eat Well—Recipes We Love Pinterest Board by Dr. Frank Lipman

Who are your inspirations? Have you experimented with healthy cooking for children/housemates/spouses? Share  away; I love to hear from you!

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