Hey everyone! I wanted to share this recipe with you because, well, who doesn’t love mac and cheese? Also, this recipe is a great alternative to regular Mac and cheese for both vegans and non-vegans.
I wanted to discuss the concept of nutrient density with you, and how regular Mac and cheese is lacks in nutritional value compared to my version of Mac and cheese. Nutrient density refers to just how packed a particular food is with nutrients compared to the amount of calories you must consume in order to obtain those nutrients. Some foods, particularly junk foods, are non-nutrient dense, meaning that you have to consume a large amount (high amount of calories) in order to consume a surfeit of nutrients. This is not optimal because your body only needs a certain amount of calories per day, and excess calories can lead to weight gain. Consequently, weight gain can lead to numerous health complications. Non-nutrient dense foods tend to cause an increase in caloric intake due to their inability to satiate hunger when consumed in low amounts.
Unfortunately, Mac and cheese is a non-nutrient dense food. Mac and cheese does contain calcium and various other minerals, but the amount you would need to consume in order to receive an adequate amount of these essential minerals is a lot. Essentially mac and cheese + white pasta = high fat, high amount of calories, little benefit, followed by a sugar rush, and eventually a crash. My mac and cheese on the other hand will leave you feeling full after just 1 cup. It provides the body with healthy whole grain carbohydrates and dietary fiber, along with vitamin A, phytochemicals from all of the veggies, and even a full serving of vitamin B12, which vegans tend to lack in.
Above all my Mac and cheese is 100% all natural and way better than any boxed Mac and cheese you’ll ever have. Choose the healthier option.
- 1 medium white potato
- 1/2 large white onion
- 3 medium carrots
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 cup coconut milk or almond milk
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 1/2 cup water from boiled veggies (see methods)
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional* 1tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 package of your favorite pasta (I used brown rice quinoa pasta from Trader Joe’s)
- Place onion, potato and carrots into a sauce pan filled with enough water to completely cover the vegetables, and boil the vegetables until soft.
- Remove vegetables from sauce pan and save about 2 cups of water
- Put all ingredients into a high speed blender or food processor. Begin by adding only 1 cup of starchy water to the mix as this may be enough.
- Blend until cheesy consistency forms. (Add more water if cheese sauce is too thick).
- Cook pasta according to packaging
- Drain pasta, and pour back into pot. Add sauce. Stir on low heat for 1-2 minuets.
- Serve and enjoy 🙂 (optional: sprinkle fresh parsley on top)