Every February our nation celebrate Black History Month, and much of the celebrating is based on feasting on traditional soul food dishes. Our traditional fare combines ingredients common to African, Native American and often Caribbean cuisine. Though these dishes may taste good and are of course familiar comfort food, the amounts of fat, sodium and cholesterol in traditional “soul food” is not in line with healthy diet principles.
One favorite American dish is macaroni and cheese. At most black family gatherings, the mac ‘n cheese is front and center on the buffet table, and usually the first thing children go for! Ohh, but the saturated fat and cholesterol from the eggs, butter and cheese are killer. Literally. Add in the sodium calorie count, and you can see why finding a version of this traditional dish remade with a vegan twist was high on the agenda.
Try this recipe and let us know what you think in the comments section below.
- 4 quarts water
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 8 ounces macaroni
- 4 slices of bread, torn into large pieces
- 2 tablespoons + ⅓ cup Earth Balance Vegan buttery spread
- 2 tablespoons shallots, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup red or yellow potatoes, peeled and chopped
- ¼ cup carrots, peeled and chopped
- ⅓ cup onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup raw cashews
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- In a large pot, bring the water and salt to a boil. Add macaroni and cook until al dente. In a colander, drain pasta and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
- In a food processor, make breadcrumbs by pulverizing the bread and 2 tablespoons margarine to a medium-fine texture. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan, add shallots, potatoes, carrots, onion, and water, and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and simmer for 15 minutes, or until vegetables are very soft.
- In a blender, process the cashews, salt, garlic, ⅓ cup margarine, mustard, lemon juice, black pepper, and cayenne. Add softened vegetables and cooking water to the blender and process until perfectly smooth.
- In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta and blended cheese sauce until completely coated. Spread mixture into a 9 x 12 casserole dish, sprinkle with prepared breadcrumbs, and dust with paprika.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese sauce is bubbling and the top has turned golden brown.