The weather had finally become consistently cooler down here in Southern California and I couldn’t be happier; well, minus the 100 mph winds that blew throughout several counties this past week. It’s this time of year that I find myself wanting to eat heartier foods that have great flavors. This recipe is great for satisfying your appetite and sticking to your bones without sticking to your love handles (unless you don’t have love handles, in which case I am very jealous!).
I was inspired by Oh She Glows’ Butternut Squash Mac ‘n’ Cheeze recipe, really only changing a couple of the ingredients and adding a couple of my own. I have to warn you though, once you have the sauce made, remember to finish making the dish instead of sitting there with a spoon eating it out of the blender. My mom and I could have polished off the cheeze sauce for dinner if we had the chance, it’s that good!
- 3 Cups Cooked Pumpkin (Canned/Unsweetened Pumpkin is an option)
- 3/4 cup Raw Cashews, Soaked for 2 hours
- 1 cup Water
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp. Smoked Sea Salt
- 1 tsp. Sea Salt
- 6-7 tbsp Nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp Chipotle Mustard
- 1/2 tsp or a bit more of dried Italian seasoning
- 1/4-1/2 tsp Turmeric powder, optional (gives the orangey colour)
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/4-1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika + more to season
- 1/2 tsp. Liquid Smoke
- Your pasta of choice (I used 3 Cups Dried Wagon Wheel Noodles)
- Take all ingredients, with the exception of the noodles, and place them into a high-powered blender or food processor. Blend at medium or high-speed until the contents make a smooth sauce with no cashew chunks left. Taste the sauce and add more of whatever spices you feel it may be lacking.
- Heat a medium/large pot that is filled 3/4 of the way with water, over medium/high heat until it is boiling. Add in noodles and cover with lid, leaving room for air to escape so that it does not boil over. Cook until noodles are soft, but not mushy, roughly 10 minutes.
- When the noodles are done cooking, drain them of all water and stir in the “cheeze” sauce. You really only need to cook this for 5-10 minutes so that the sauce is warmed and the noodles soak it up. Serve warm, straight from the pot; or bake in a dish and top with a bread crumb/panko mix.
Look at that cheezy goodness!! If there was ever a thought in your mind that you couldn’t be vegan because of the dishes you’d be missing out on, one look at this picture could surely change your mind. To be honest, I drooled just looking at it. This is a dish that I’ll definitely be making again.