So I've been struggling with my almost 6-year-old with all things healthy eating. She use to be an amazing eater and eat any and everything healthy. Would ask me for healthy food and beg for shrek shakes. Long gone are those days, and I blame it all on kindergarten. It's like after seeing how the "other side" eats... and setting her eyes on that cafeteria line - it's all she wants. It's a constant battle.
One day, post kindergarten corruption, she told me she wanted to go have a playdate at her friend Emily's house because her Mom makes them yummy macaroni & cheese... I almost cried. Ouch. So, I was on a quest to find my baby girl some healthy mac & cheese. Found this recipe, on an awesome new site my friend Natalie told me about. I spent a good 3 hours drooling over all her recipes.
The bummer is, we all loved it, except her. I'm beginning to think that we're dealing with some sort of power struggle combined with the food issue. Lovely.
1/2 medium potato, peeled and chopped (about 1/4-1/3 cup)
1/2 large carrot, peeled and chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 small onion, peeled and chopped (about 1/4-1/3 cup)
1 ½ cups raw cashews
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
4 garlic cloves
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon mustard
~300-340 grams dry/uncooked whole wheat macaroni or other pasta
1 slice bread
1 tablespoon Earth Balance or butter
Fresh or dried parsley, to garnish (optional)
Paprika, to garnish
Preheat oven to 350*F. Grab a small casserole dish and set aside. In a medium sized pot, add the chopped potatoes, carrots, and onion and fill with water until just covered. Bring to a boil and then reduce to low-medium heat. Cook for about 15 minutes until tender.
Meanwhile, process 1 slice of bread until crumbs form in a food processor. Add in 1 tablespoon of Earth Balance and process until incorporated. Place in a small bowl and set aside.
Now assemble your cheese sauce ingredients (cashews, almond milk, garlic, lemon, salt, yeast, pepper, mustard) and add just the cashews to food processor. Process until a fine crumb forms similar to corn meal. Now add in the rest of the cheese sauce ingredients and process until smooth.
Once the veggies are cooked, drain and add to cheese sauce mixture in food processor. Process until smooth.
Add your pasta to a medium sized pot and fill with water until the pasta is covered by about 1 inch or so. Bring to a boil and reduce to low, cooking for about 7 more minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.
In a large bowl, mix together your cheese sauce and drained + rinsed pasta. Scoop into your casserole dish and sprinkle with the breadcrumb mixture. Now garnish with paprika and bake in the oven for 30 minutes at 350*F. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley or dried parsley if you’d like.
Note: This is a heavy and drier mac ‘n cheese. If you want it less dry, you might want to add some Earth Balance/butter or additional milk.
my friend Natalie told me about her sight, and our friend Mimi told her