Daiya Vegan Mac n' Cheese
I personally usually shy away from faux meats and cheeses with a vegetarian or vegan diet. Well prepared and simple plant-based foods are typically more appealing. One day though, I was really craving some homestyle old-fashioned mac n' cheese, and my craving just wouldn't abide.
Thus, with the help of a few combined recipe ideas online and my own taste testing, I decided to craft my own version of the good stuff.
To my surprise, it turned out great -- very creamy and gooey. After several more times making it, I've crafted my own version to perfection.
- 1 cup uncooked Barilla Shells
- 1/2 cup Vegetable Stock
- 1/2 cup Nutritional Yeast
- 4 oz (1/2 of an 8oz. package) Daiya Cheese, Cheddar Style Shreds
- 1/4 cup Vegan Milk Alternative, soy, coconut, almond, etc.
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
- Peas (optional)
- Yellow Mustard, to taste, ~ 1 Tbs. to start
- Cook pasta to al dente, per box instructions. Add salt to water to raise the boiling temperature, and to release the starch from the shells so the sauce sticks to the shells better. Stir regularly to release more of the pasta's starch.
- Heat vegetable stock, milk alternative, and yellow mustard in a large skillet or pan. Slowly add in nutritional yeast until it is dissolved.
- Place stove on medium to medium-high heat, and add in Daiya cheese. The Daiya cheese will melt slowly. Continuously stir until cheese is fully melted. If using peas or some other vegetable, add in now to cook/warm.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Strain pasta from water -- don't rinse! Stir pasta into skillet to coat shells in sauce.
Note: Not all faux cheeses are the same! The vegan community recommends Daiya or Vegan Gourmet brands for best taste.
Not only does this recipe take out some of the bad stuff in traditional mac n' cheese, but it adds loads of good too.
While being much lower in calories, it still kicks the protein punch. Kick it up a notch further by using whole grain pasta.
The biggest nutritional impact of this recipe comes from the nutritional yeast. If you've never heard of it before, don't be offset by the strange name. Many describe the flavor as a nutty cheddar cheese. Packed with it's own protein (14 grams per ounce), it also is a nutritional powerhouse containing huge amounts of B vitamins, as wells a good source of magnesium, zinc, manganese and copper.
And if you're at all worried, it is a non-living yeast, so it can not contribute to candida growth. In fact, with its high protein and low carbohydrate content, adding more into your diet can ease sugar cravings and promote weight loss!
Recipe Nutrition Per Serving (1 of 4)
|Serving size: 1|
|Calories from Fat||63|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 7 g||11%|
|Carbohydrates 33 g||11%|
|Sugar 1 g|
|Protein 12 g||24%|
|Cholesterol 0 mg|
|Sodium 300 mg||13%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|