I have a confession. I am not a fan of most vegan mac and cheese recipes.While there are many recipes out there, I have struggled to find one that I like. Some rely on nutritional yeast for their flavor, but I have never been a fan of using nutritional yeast as cheese flavoring. If anything it just reminds me that I am not eating cheese. Instead I am eating a poor imitation.
Other vegan mac and cheese recipes rely on store bought vegan cheeses. Lets be honest: store bought vegan cheeses dont taste like cheese. They are just a bunch of oil and thickener that melt into a gooey flavorless glob.
This recipe is different. It is tangy and creamy. The roasted red peppers in this dish add a little bot of smokiness and sweetness that oddly enough resembles cheese. Roasted Red peppers have become an essential ingredients in most of my recipes where cheese would usually be used. I usually use equal parts red and yellow roasted red bell peppers to create an orange color when the ingredients are blended. In this case the red lentils and pumpkin held turn the dish orange without needing a yellow bell pepper.
- 16 oz whole wheat macaroni noodles
- 2 cups red lentils
- 1 cup cashew, soaked for a couple hours
- 1 roasted red bell pepper
- 1¼ cups pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- To cook the macaroni, bring pot of salted water to a boil. Once water is boiling add the macaroni noodles and cook until tender. Strain noodles with a strainer and return noodles to pot.
- To cook the lentils, add the lentils to another pot and cover with 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cook for 10 minutes or until soft.. Strain any excess water off with a strainer. Pour lentils in with the cooked macaroni noodles.
- In a blender combine the cashews, 2 cups water, roasted bell pepper, pumpkin puree, onion powder, and garlic powder. Blend for 5 minutes or until completely smooth.
- Pour sauce into pot with lentils and macaroni noodles. Stitr to combine. If the pasta is not heated through, return pot to the stove over medium heat until the dish is heated through.
- Adjust seasoning as needed.