Vegan Macaroni and Cheese from The Guilt-Free Gourmet

As a bridal shower gift, my mom gave me a series of cookbooks called The Guilt-free Gourmet by Vicki Griffin. There are some great vegan recipes in these books, although it was hard for a beginner like me to follow the recipes, especially with no pictures or detailed instructions. I decided to try an old favorite: mac and cheese, but with a twist. Since the book includes only vegan recipes, this recipe replaces the cheese with cashews.

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I started by cooking small shell pasta. I kept a close eye on it because I didn’t want it to get too water-logged, since the recipe bakes in the oven later.

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Small shell pasta, drained

In the meantime, I gathered the ingredients for the cheese sauce: raw cashews from the freezer, sesame tahini, lemon juice and water, nutritional yeast flakes, garlic cloves, and a small jar of pimientos (not pictured).

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Ingredients for the “cheese” sauce – except I forgot the pimientos

I blended it all together in the food processor, and this is what I got.

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Vegan cheese sauce. I can’t believe I got this from cashews and tahini.

I poured the “cheese” sauce into a baking dish, then added the shells. I topped it with Panko breadcrumbs and frozen peas, and stuck it in the oven for 30 minutes.

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Vegan mac and cheese, pre-baked

This is what I got!

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Vegan mac and cheese, out of the oven!

Eric said it tasted like Korean Shin Ramyun, I think because of the pimientos. Not exactly typical macaroni and cheese, but a much healthier and tasty substitute!

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Have you guys ever tried vegan cashew cheese?

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