Today I was in the mood for my favorite comfort food – Macaroni and Cheese! Rich and satisfying, this recipe is 100% free of gluten, grains, dairy, and eggs. Instead of pasta it uses zucchini, which has a mild flavor and absorbs the “cheese sauce” beautifully. The thick “cheese sauce” is made with blended coconut milk, coconut butter, nutritional yeast and lemon, plus optional Vitamin C crystals for a “sharp cheese” flavor. Now I can enjoy my favorite comfort food in a healthy form and it tastes yummilicious! This vegan mac and cheese is super easy to make – just slice the zucchini, steam it, blend the sauce, heat them together briefly and serve. There’s no need to bake. This recipe is also a Paleo macaroni and cheese, as it contains no processed foods or dairy. Serves 4
- 4 medium to large zucchini
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 3 tablespoon Nutritional Yeast (buttery dairy flavor)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 lemon, peeled, sliced, and seeded
- 1/4 teaspoon Vitamin-C crystals (Optional for a sharp cheese flavor. Buy it in the supplements section of any grocery)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- Black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon ground mustard
- pinch cayenne (optional)
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot flour or coconut flour to thicken
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted but not hot
- 1 medium carrot, finely grated – for a yellow cheese color
- 1/2 cup coconut butter
- 2 tablespoons almonds or parsley, chopped finely
- Peel zucchini and cut it lengthwise into 1/4-inch strips. Then cut the strips crosswise into sections about 1-inch long. These oblong cubes are about the size of cooked elbow macaroni.
- In a medium saucepan, add 1 inch of filtered water. Put a steamer in the saucepan and put the zucchini into the steamer. Bring the water to a boil and cover for 2 minutes. Lift the cover and stir gently from time to time so that it steams evenly. Do not overcook or the zucchini will become mushy.
- In any blender, add the coconut milk, nutritional yeast, salt, lemon, optional Vitamin-C, garlic, nutmeg, pepper, mustard, cayenne, arrowroot, coconut oil, and grated carrot. Blend until smooth. Add the coconut butter last and blend again. It should be quite thick. If it is too thick for your blender, add a tiny bit more coconut milk so it blends freely.
- When the zucchini is hot and still firm or "al dente" like pasta, remove it from the heat. Remove the steamer from the pan. Pour the water out of the pan and put the zucchini slices into the warm, empty saucepan.
- Pour the sauce over the zucchini and mix gently over medium low heat until it begins to bubble slightly. Do not overcook or the coconut may separate and be runny.
- Garnish with chopped almonds (optional) or parsley. Serve immediately.