I used to say that the only mac & cheese I would eat was the kind from the blue box—as a once-in-a-while, “I know what kind of food dye/preservative hell I am getting myself into” sort of thing. Well, I also used to be afraid of lobsters. Things change.
It all started a few years ago, when I started seeing recipes for mac & cheese featuring cheese sauce made from butternut squash, pumpkin, nutritional yeast, and other unconventional ingredients. Though I still buy organic boxed stuff from companies like Annie’s once in a while, I much prefer to make my own cheese sauce—the mad scientist aspect makes it so much more satisfying.
After seeing this recipe on Angela’s blog and a great adaptation on Katie’s blog, mac &cheese was moved to the top of my “Must Make Soon” list. I’d also been eyeing the bag oflangostino tails in my freezer. Lobster mac & cheese is totally a thing, so yeah…
Aside from being delicious, this also happens to be dairy-free and low in fat—not to mention high in protein, fiber, and vitamins A, C, and K. Not too shabby, huh?
For the sauce:
- 1 package tofu (silken is probably best, but I got away with firm, since that’s what I had)
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- Garlic powder
- Sea salt to taste
- 1/2 tsp liquid smoke (optional but lovely)
- ~1/2 cup water (may need more or less)
For the “mac” part of the meal:
- 3/4 c Whole wheat pasta of choice
- 1 large handful kale
- ~1/2 c frozen peas, thawed
- ~1 c frozen langostino tails, thawed
- Combine sauce ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and pour into a glass jar. Done. Makes about 3 cups.
- Boil pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving a tiny bit of the starchy pasta water if desired.
- Return pot with pasta in it to heat. Add kale, peas, langostino tails, and about 1 cup of sauce. Stir until everything is well coated and sauce is hot.
- Serve immediately.
You can use the extra sauce another time or kindly allow a friend or mate to have some.
Oh, and about that food dye hell, did you hear about Kraft’s new plans for their shaped mac & cheese products?
Do you like boxed mac & cheese, or do you prefer to make your own? Any favorite recipes?