The food you eat can be the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest
form of poison. - A Wigmore
In an attempt to feed my families bodies with the right fuel I have been on the hunt for healthy and nutritious meals. I was recommended Drea's blog by a friend and will be forever grateful. What I found were pages of delicious and nutritious meals and snacks for the whole family with a mix of knowledge, insight and humour.
As I cook I like to think about the origin of our food... Where was it grown? Whose hands foraged and picked it? As I made this meal in particular I couldn't help but be extremely chuffed that many of the ingredients had come from our very own backyard (and the neighbours lemon tree).
Drea's Mac & "Cheese"
3/4 to 1 cup carrots - roughly chopped
1 small onion (about 3/4 cup) - roughly chopped
1 cup butternut pumpkin - roughly chopped/cubed
1 1/2 potatoes roughly chopped/cubed (preferably of the creamy or red variety)
1/2 cup raw cashews
1 cup nutritional yeast (also known as savoury yeast in Australia)
1/2 stick vegan butter (plan to set aside one table spoon for bread crumb topping)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 to 2 cloves garlic
a pinch of cayenne (optional)
a pinch of turmeric (optional, mostly for coloring)
bread crumbs (optional, for topping)
smoked paprika (optional, for topping)
1 package of your favorite pasta (we used macaroni)
In a large bowl, combine: potato, carrots, pumpkin and onion. Fill with enough water to slightly cover the vegetables (about 3 - 3 1/2 cups) and bring to boil. Add a generous amount of salt. Once boiling, lower heat, and allow to simmer, until all the vegetables are soft (about ten to 15 minutes, depending on the size of your vegetables)
Prepare pasta as directed on package, and set aside.
Preheat oven to 190 degrees celsius.
While your vegetables are simmering, combine: cashews, butter, garlic, lemon juice, and if you choose to use them: cayenne and turmeric. Add a heavy pinch of salt and pepper. Puree with immersion blender, vitamix, or food processor (I used our thermomix). Make sure to puree the cashews first because you want them as smooth as possible. Add a bit of the simmering vegetable water to add moisture, if necessary. Slowly, begin to add savoury yeast and a bit more of the vegetable water and continue pureeing. Once the vegetables are ready, begin to combine those too. Add more of the vegetable water, as necessary. Don't pour the vegetables and water in all at once. Patience and step taking is key so that you are left with a creamy mixture, and not buttery vegetable soup. More than likely you will end up using all the water anyway, just be sure to add in as necessary. Once everything has been mixed and your "cheesy" sauce has been made. Combine "cheese" sauce and pasta and pour into an oven safe casserole dish.
Melt the extra butter, mix with breadcrumbs, and sprinkle over mac and cheese with a sprinkle of savoury yeast, smoked paprika, and a bit more salt.
Cover with foil and bake for ten minutes, or until slightly bubbling around the sides. Uncover and bake for one to two minutes, until breadcrumbs are brown.
Serve hot, and enjoy :)
*** recipe taken from Drea's blog and edited slightly with my own notes.
*** we served with a garlic and coconut oil vegetable salad.