Macaroni and Cheese has to be on the top 10 comfort foods list. Has to. Why? Because it contains cheese of course! Did you know that cheese contains casomorphins which are protein fragments derived from digestion of the milk protein casein. These casomorphins have an opioid effect on the body – as in a euphoric high. Whenever I discuss a plant-based diet with people, I always get the cheese response, “I could never give up cheese!” I always feel like I’m talking to an addict. Now, you may be thinking that there is nothing wrong with feeling euphoric from eating dairy, but let me tell you that no euphoria in the world will help you when you suffer from a chronic illness brought on by eating casein-laden cheese. Trust me. Rant over. On to this yummy recipe. This recipe happens to be on my top 10 comfort foods list! It’s so comforting, delicious, AND it contains no casein. Full of fiber, antioxidants, and b-12 this macaroni and cheeze truly feeds the body with NO deleterious side effects!
1 box pasta of choice
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Pinch of sea salt
4 cups cauliflower florets, chopped
(about 1 small cauliflower head)
1½ cups unsweetened almond milk
¼ cup nutritional yeast
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. onion powder
Pinch of pepper
3 – 4 cups of mixed vegetables, frozen or fresh
In a large skillet over medium heat, saute garlic and onions until softened, about 10 minutes. Add in some water or broth, if needed, to prevent onions from sticking to pan. In a medium saucepan, or in a microwave safe bowl, steam cauliflower florets with water. When florets are fork tender, strain florets. Add florets to skillet pan with garlic and onions and cook for an additional three minutes. Add mixture to blender and pulse until a smooth consistency. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Pour cauliflower sauce back into skillet. Add almond milk, nutritional yeast, tomato paste, lemon juice, onion powder, and salt. Stir and let cook for about 10-15 minutes until thickened. In a non-stick skillet, sauté vegetables until tender. I like to use broccoli, asparagus, carrots, zucchini, spinach, green beans or green peas – any combination of vegetables will work! When pasta is done, drain. Add pasta to “cheese” mixture and stir well. Fold in mixed vegetables – you can fold in frozen vegetables at this point if you choose. Season with salt and pepper to taste.