Dairy Free Pumpkin Mac & "Cheese"
Yesterday I gave you the straight goods on dairy and its disconcerting connection to certain kinds of cancer.
So yes, sometimes I like to cheat and eat a really nice piece of cheese. But on the whole, I'm okay with giving dairy products a pass... especially when there are recipes like this one floating around.
Sarah from Making Thyme for Health as developed this totally sensational, totally dairy-free macaroni and cheese recipe, with the added bonus of pumpkin! The only substitution I made was to use gluten-free noodles (quinoa or brown rice pasta work for me), otherwise, this is perfection!
Pumpkin Mac & "Cheese"
- 1 pound macaroni of choice
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 large shallots, diced (approx. 1 cup)
- 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped (approx. 1 tablespoon)
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- 1 teaspoon tumeric (optional)
- 1 head of kale, stem removed and roughly chopped (approx. 2 cups)
- 15 ounces pumpkin purée (1 can or approx. 2 cups)
- 1 teaspoon vegetable bouillon + 1/2 cup reserved pasta water
- 1/2 cup unsweetened plain non-dairy milk (such as almond, cashew, soy or rice milk)
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
- salt & pepper to taste
- chopped fresh sage for topping (optional)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a large pinch of fine sea salt and cook the pasta as directed. I like to prep my veggies (shallot, garlic and kale) while I wait for the pasta to cook. Once the pasta is tender, remove it from the heat and drain in a strainer, reserving 1/2 cup of the water. Add 1 teaspoon of the vegetable bouillon to the 1/2 cup of water to create the vegetable broth then set aside. Note: You can use vegetable broth instead but the sauce will be slightly less creamy. Place the empty pot back on the burner over low to medium heat then pour in one tablespoon of the olive oil. Add 1/2 cup of the shallot and all of the garlic then cook for 3 minutes. Next add the seasonings (smoked paprika, sage, turmeric, and a pinch of salt & pepper), stir together and continue to cook for another 2 minutes. Pour the pumpkin puree into the pot along with 1/4 cup of the vegetable broth and bring to a low boil. Allow to cook for 5 minutes, continuing to stir, then remove from the heat and set aside. Stir the milk into the pot to help cool down the pumpkin mixture then transfer it to a blender. Add the nutritional yeast to the blender and blend on high until smooth, for about 15 seconds. Taste the sauce and add salt & pepper, as desired to your preferences. Rinse the pot you used to cook the pumpkin mixture then return it to the burner over low to medium heat. Add the second tablespoon of olive oil and the remaining 1/2 cup of diced shallot and cook for 2 minutes. Then add the chopped kale along with the remaining 1/4 cup vegetable broth and cook for 5 more minutes, until kale has wilted. Lastly, add the cooked pasta back to the pot and pour in the pumpkin sauce. Stir until the macaroni is evenly coated. Serve warm with chopped fresh sage (optional) and enjoy!