Creamy Mac and Cheeze (Non-dairy)

Okay, I’ve tried to make a vegan version for mac and cheese many times now! I’ve tried cashews, tofu, various pureed veggies, etc…. and while they’ve all been good, I could never achieve that creamy texture of traditional mac and cheese! Until now. This recipe is creamy and tangy, and really delicious! I know that some of these ingredients may be a little unfamiliar, but I’ve made this recipe many times now and it really delivers! I’ve also used it as a cheese sauce on nachos… and I’m sure there are other ways to incorporate it into other recipes!
NOTE: Ingredients like nutritional yeast and miso have very distinctive flavors. If you like a bolder or tangier flavor, you can add a little more than what’s listed!

2 c. unsweetened almond milk (or other plant-based milk)
3 T canola oil (or any mild oil)
3 T potato starch (or tapioca starch) (I use Bob’s Red Mill) – mixed with 3 T water
2 T nutritional yeast
1 T white miso (found in Whole Foods/Asian markets)
1 T tomato paste (I use single-serving packets)
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp mustard
1 T lemon juice
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt

Elbow noodle pasta (or any pasta of your choice)

Add all ingredients (except potato or tapioca starch) to a saucepan on medium heat.
Stir or whisk until combined and mixture starts to bubble.
Very slowly, add starch a little at a time while continuing to stir or whisk.

 

 

Continue to stir until mixture thickens and turns a golden color.
Adjust salt and seasonings to your own taste, or add a little more milk if too thick!

 

 

 

Cook and drain your favorite pasta (since I’m gluten-free, I used brown rice elbow noodles), and add enough cheese sauce to coat warm pasta.

You can also add in chopped veggies like chopped broccoli or cauliflower!

 

Enjoy this plant-based and healthy alternative to traditional mac & cheese!

Tempeh with Maple-Mustard Glaze

I LOVE to use tempeh as a protein when preparing meals! (Tempeh is a pressed, fermented soybean cake) It has great texture and a slightly nutty flavor! Plus since it’s fermented, it’s good for digestion. This is a quick and easy way to prepare tempeh! You can let it marinate for an hour if pressed for time, or overnight in the fridge!

1 package of tempeh
1/4 cup veggie broth
3 T maple syrup (or agave or honey)
1 T olive oil
1 T dijon mustard
1 T ketchup
1 T soy sauce or tamari
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Additional 1 T olive oil (for sauteeing)

Cut tempeh cake into 4 equal pieces.
Carefully cut each quarter lengthwise into 3 pieces.
Place 12 pieces in single layer in shallow pan or dish.

 

Combine rest of ingredients for marinade.
Stir well and pour over tempeh.
Let marinate at least one hour.

 

Heat 1 T olive oil in a saute pan.
Add tempeh pieces in single layer.
Brown a few minutes on each side.
Add rest of marinade and simmer a few more minutes.

 

 

 

 

Serve this delicious tempeh with your favorite side dishes!
I served it here with mashed potatoes and my homemade sauerkraut. 🙂

Creamy Potato Leek Soup with Smoky Shiitake Bits

This potato leek soup is healthy and delicious… no butter or heavy cream needed! And it’s topped with salty, smoky mushroom bits that you can make while the soup is cooking! I highly recommend investing in an immersion blender. They are inexpensive and come in so handy with dishes like this!

CreamyPotatoLeekSoup - 1 (6)5 cups veggie broth or water (I use half of each)
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
4 large potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 leeks, cleaned and sliced
2 Tblsp olive oil
Spices – Salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder
Herbs – Dried parsley, ground thyme, bay leaf

Mushroom bits:
1 pkg shiitake or cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced thin
1 Tblsp tamari or soy sauce
1 tsp olive oil
1/8 tsp smoked sea salt

CreamyPotatoLeekSoup - 1 (2)Clean leeks by first cutting off tough dark green parts and bottoms
Slice in half lengthwise and run under cold water, being careful to clean out any dirt or sand in the layers
Chop white and light green parts
Saute in 2 Tblsp olive oil until soft and slightly caramelized

While leeks are sauteing, bring veggie broth/water plus herbs and spices to boil
Add chopped potatoes and cook approx 15 min until tender
Add sauteed leeks
Simmer 5-10 more min
CreamyPotatoLeekSoup - 1 (3)Puree with immersion blender or in food processor
Stir in unsweetened almond milk

Mix sliced mushrooms with other ingredients listed for mushroom bits
Heat 1 Tblsp of oil in a skillet and saute mushrooms for 10-12 min, tossing occasionally
Drain on paper towel

 

 

CreamyPotatoLeekSoup - 1 (5)Serve soup topped with mushroom bits and dried/fresh parsley or chives!

Lentil and Veggie Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s pie is definitely comfort food, and this one is so healthy, with lentils and familiar veggies that kids love! Lentils add protein and fiber to this dish, and you can use any combo of vegetables that you like. Mushrooms provide a nice texture with the lentils, but you can leave them out if you wish, or replace with sauteed, diced onion, zucchini, etc. A can of diced or crushed tomatoes is also a nice addition to the lentil and veggie mixture for the base. The key to making this is in the timing. While the lentils are cooking, saute any other veggies like mushrooms or onions, and also make mashed potatoes!

(Note: Smaller lentils like French lentils or red lentils will cook faster than the larger ones that are light brown in color.)

HCV_VeggieShepherdsPie - 11 cup dry lentils (If possible soak lentils the night before or at least a few hours – they will double in size and also cook much faster)
2 cups veggie broth
1 cup frozen mixed veggies (i.e. corn,carrots,peas,green beans)
1-2 cups mushrooms, chopped small
4 med potatoes, peeled and chopped (for mashed potatoes)
Spices – Salt, onion powder, garlic powder
Herbs – Parsley, sage

HCV_VeggieShepherdsPie - 1 (1)Bring veggies broth plus herbs and spices to boil. Rinse and drain lentils and add to broth. Cook until soft (approx 20-45 depending on type of lentils)
Add extra broth if necessary – should be a little soupy

In the meantime, start making mashed potatoes. Boil water (add salt) and add potatoes.
When potatoes are soft, mash with salt, pepper, 2 Tblsp margarine and 1/2 cup unsweetened almond or soy milk

 

Saute chopped mushrooms in a little margarine or oil.HCV_VeggieShepherdsPie - 1 (2)

When lentils are soft, add mushrooms and mixed veggies and cook 10 min longer.

 

Put layer of lentil mixture in pie dish (spray with cooking spray first)
Spread layer of mashed potatoes on top
Cook 350 degrees about 40 min and then broil 5 min to brown top

 

Enjoy! This is also great for leftovers and can be easily reheated in the microwave!

HCV_VeggieShepherdsPie - 1 (9)