Friday, August 8, 2014

Vegan Sweet Potato Mac & Cheese

Mac & cheese is one of my favorite classic comfort foods, but healthy it is (usually) not.  The boxed processed types are full of scary ingredients, and homemade versions generally aren't much better.  The average mac & cheese recipe calls for tons of butter, white flour, milk, and cheese.  Throw in some white pasta, and it doesn't get much more nutritionally void than that. 

Fortunately, thanks to wonder that is nutritional yeast, it is possible to make a mac & cheese that is both delicious and really good for you.  My go-to version involves the no-cheese sauce from the Forks Over Knives cookbook, which I shared a while back.  Last night, however, I was craving something a little different.  We had some sweet potatoes to use up, and the thought of a slightly sweet, cheesy meal sounded appealing.  I did some searching, and, sure enough, I wasn't the first person in the world to think of using sweet potatoes in a mac & cheese dish.  I ended up making some modifications to this recipe that I found on Alicia Silverstone's website (which is awesome, by the way) to create what you see below.  I highly recommend!
Vegan Sweet Potato Mac & Cheese
Total cook time: 1 hour
Servings: 4

  • 1 large sweet potato, cubed
  • 1 box (13.5 oz.) elbow macaroni (I used whole wheat)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon liquid aminos (or soy sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded non-dairy cheese (like Daiya)
  • 1 tbsp of nutritional yeast and 1/2 tbsp of olive oil for topping

Preheat oven to 425° F. Place sweet potato cubes onto lightly greased baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Place in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until tender, turning once half way through.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to the pot.

In a medium bowl, combine lemon juice, mustard, garlic powder, chili flakes, nutritional yeast, olive oil, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Remove sweet potatoes from oven (don’t turn off the heat) and add them to the bowl with all your seasonings, almond milk, and shredded cheese. Mash well.

Add macaroni noodles to the bowl and stir it all together.  Transfer the mixture to a large casserole dish.  Top with nutritional yeast and then drizzle with olive oil to form a cheesy "crust."

Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the top begins to brown.  

Serve and eat!  As usual, we also topped ours with some Sriracha for an extra kick.  
This macaroni turned out even better than I had imagined.  Jay was a huge fan, too.  We practically ate the entire thing in one sitting. 
Hope it was a great week.  Happy Friday!

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