Mac and Cheese – Comfort food time!

Mac and Cheese – Comfort food time!
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It’s getting chilly outside, and if you’re like me, you’re probably craving warm blankets, cuddly sweaters and comfort foods.  One of my favourite foods growing up was good ole mac and cheese.  These days, grabbing a convenient box of KD doesn’t fit into our lifestyle so I went in search of a creamy, “cheesy” vegan dish.  I found one 3 out of 4 of the kiddies really enjoyed, I’ll share it with you below and will load it on my website.  One of the bonuses of this dish is that is contains nutritional yeast.  I LOVE this amazing health food some have nicknamed, “hippy dust”.  Here are some of the health benenfits of this beautiful one celled organism:

 
 
1. It’s a vegetarian source of Vitamin B-12. 
 
This is a crucial nutrient for the body involved in the production of red blood cells and for producing and maintaining myelin, the protective insulation around your nerves. Most sources of Vitamin B-12 are animal based, so nutritional yeast is a major player in the nutritional wellbeing of vegans and vegetarians. One tablespoon will provide an adult with a full day’s supply of B-12. (Assuming you can keep the tastiness to just that!) 
 
2. It’s high in protein. 
 
2 tablespoons of hippie dust contain 9 grams of protein. That’s more than in 1 cup of whole milk (8g), a large egg (6g), or one oz. of beef (7g). It’s a wonderful source of energy for your workout mornings.
 
3. It’s high in fiber. 
 
Fiber is one of my personal favorites in terms of gut health and functional digestion. It also helps our systems regulate blood sugar giving us a more sustainable, even store of energy throughout our days and at higher levels. Nutritional yeast provides 3 grams of fiber per tiny serving.
 
4. It’s gluten free. 
 
Not only a boon for the vegans out there, but this treat is also gluten free providing all of this power with an anti-inflammatory ease.
 
5. It’s a great source of folic acid. 
 
Especially important for women out there trying to get pregnant or carrying future citizens of the planet, folic acid is known to prevent spina bifida and other major birth defects. For those not planning to get pregnant, folic acid is still important for its role in cell maintenance and production.
 
On your next trip to the health food store, pick up a little “hippie dust”.  Try it on your popcorn, throw it in your pasta sauce, or try my mac and cheese recipe below.  It lends an amazing cheesy taste to anything you put it on.

 

Mac and Cheese
Serves 6
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
25 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 (16-ounce) package Tinkyada brand (gluten free) Brown Rice Elbow Pasta
  2. 1 medium Yukon Gold potato, peeled and cubed
  3. 1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced
  4. 1 medium sweet onion, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
  5. 4 cloves garlic, minced
  6. 1 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  7. 1 (4-ounce) jar pimentos, drained
  8. Juice of 1 small lemon
  9. 3/4 to 1 cup nutritional yeast (recommend Red Star Large Flake)
  10. 2 teaspoons sea salt
  11. 1 teaspoon onion powder
  12. 1 cup thawed frozen petite green peas
  13. Minced fresh cilantro, basil, or parsley, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, combine the potato, onion, carrot, and garlic in a medium saucepan. Add the broth and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. When vegetables are tender, pour the vegetables and broth into a VitaMix or other high-speed blender. Add the pimentos, fresh lemon juice, nutritional yeast, sea salt, and onion powder and blend on medium speed until smooth.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the sauce with the pasta and green peas. Serve hot, garnished with cilantro or other fresh herb.
  5. Note: For a “baked” style mac and cheese, transfer the mixture to a lightly oiled 9 x 13 inch baking dish and bake for about 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
Notes
  1. Enjoy
Plank Health http://www.plankhealth.ca/wordpress/

Post author

Kellie, also known as "Healthy Mom", is a passionate advocate for the saying, "not one diet fits us all". Because eating healthy can be overwhelming and time consuming, she provides clients with one on one personal coaching as well as develops monthly online meal planning programs. These programs are filled with everything you need to get cooking at home: shopping lists, menu plans, recipes, healthy lifestyle tips and full coaching support.

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