Mac and Cheese – an amazing, creamy dish that we all grew up on. The blue box, the whole stick of butter, and packet of orange powder we called cheese. I’ve been wanting to find a healthier alternative that I could make at home that had the creaminess of this childhood favorite, without all the junk.
I’ve saved a lot of dairy-free Mac and Cheese recipes, but I finally got the courage to attempt the dish I came across Nourish The Root’s recipe. The recipe called for mostly boiled veggies and a healthy amount of cashews. No flour, no bread crumbs, and no soy cheese. Now only if I could find a noodle that I would not feel guilty for eating multiple servings of…
Spaghetti Squash is perfect alternative to replace noodles. It has the texture and look of noodles with a lot less calories. I roasted my in the oven, however, a microwave is the easiest cooking option (just make sure you poke holes if you are cooking the squash whole).
Let me finish my post by stating that although this sauce is AMAZING, it is not real cheese, nor will you ever trick anyone into believing that plant-based cheese is real cheese. I’m okay with that. Think of this sauce as another creamy pasta sauce (or if you’re like me, you’ve already been dipping tortilla chips into the blender) to add to your recipe rotation. A new, guiltless dish for you and your kids to enjoy!
Spaghetti Squash –
- 1 medium spaghetti squash
- Olive Oil to brush
- Dash of salt
Cheese Sauce –
- 2 medium golden potatoes, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
- 1 medium sweet onion, diced
- 1 1/2 cups of carrots, diced and peeled (if needed, I used baby carrots)
- 3 cups of veggie broth, enough to boil the veggies
- 3/4 cup of raw cashews (no need to soak, if you have a high speed blender)
- 1/2 cup of nutritional yeast
- 2 1/2 tbsp of soy sauce
- 1 tbsp of garlic powder
- 1 tbsp of onion powder
- 1 tbsp of Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp of lemon juice
- 2 tsp of apple cider vinegar
- Salt to taste
Spicy Chickpeas –
- 15 oz can of chickpeas, drained
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 tbsp of chili powder
- 1 tbsp of chipotle powder
- 1 tbsp of smoked paprika
- 1/2 tbsp of garlic powder
- 1/4 – 1/2 tbsp of cayenne pepper
- Dash of salt
Serves about 3-4 with leftover sauce (you’re welcome)
*Make Ahead* In a bowl, toss the drained chickpeas in the olive oil and spices until completely covered. If using an air-fryer, cook at 390 degrees for about 15 minutes, shaking basket about every 5 minutes. If using an oven, bake at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes on a greased sheet pan, shaking throughout. Remove from heat once crispy and put aside. Store the chickpeas in a Ziploc once cooled.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with aluminium foil, lightly greased. Carefully slice the squash into about 1 1/2 inch thick rings, no need to be perfect. Scoop out the spaghetti squash seeds and place the rings on the pan. Brush each side of the squash rings with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place in the oven and roast for about 45 minutes.
While the spaghetti squash is roasting, bring to boil the vegetable broth, potatoes, carrots, and onion in a covered pot. Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook until veggies are cooked through, about 10 minutes or so. Then, very carefully, add the veggies and broth to the blender along with the other “cheese” ingredients. Blend on high for about a minute, making sure the mixture is smooth. Add more salt, if necessary. Be careful. The mixture is hot!
After about 45 minutes, the spaghetti squash should be done. Remove the spaghetti squash from the oven and remove from the shell with a fork. Combine the squash noodles with about half the sauce mixture. Top with the Spicy Roasted Chickpeas and serve immediately.