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Hidden Vegetable Mac & Cheeze

Serves 8

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    Here, the perennial kid-favoured mac and cheese gets a plant-based makeover. One of the key ingredients in this recipe is cauliflower. This standout superfood is all the rage at the moment, and for good reason. Cauliflower is rich in glucosinolates, sulphur-containing compounds with potent antioxidant properties.

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    This vegan cheeze sauce would also be great served warm alongside vegetables and cubes of bread as a fondue meal.

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    Hidden Vegetable Mac & Cheeze

      Ingredients

      • 4 cups (1 L) elbow macaroni or favourite gluten-free macaroni-shaped pasta
      • 1 cup (250 mL) peeled and cubed yellow potato (about 1 medium potato)
      • 1 small head cauliflower (about 14 oz/400 g), trimmed and cut into large florets
      • 2 large carrots, scrubbed and chopped
      • 1/3 cup (80 mL) unsweetened, nondairy milk of choice or water
      • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) grapeseed oil
      • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice
      • 1/2 cup (125 mL) nutritional yeast
      • 1 tsp (5 mL) arrowroot flour (optional)
      • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) onion powder
      • 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) garlic powder
      • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) kosher salt
      • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) tomato paste (optional)
      • 1 cup (250 mL) frozen green peas, thawed

      Nutrition

      Per serving:

      • calories261
      • protein12 g
      • total fat5 g
        • sat. fat1 g
      • total carbohydrates44 g
        • sugars4 g
        • fibre6 g
      • sodium187 mg

      Directions

      01

      Cook pasta according to package directions, drain, and set aside.

      02

      For cheeze sauce, set steamer basket into medium-sized saucepan and add water to just below base of steamer basket. Bring water to a boil over high heat and add potato, cauliflower, and carrots; cover with lid and steam until carrots and potatoes are fork tender, about 12 to 18 minutes. Transfer hot steamed vegetables to high-speed blender along with nondairy milk, oil, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, arrowroot flour (if using), onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and tomato paste (if using). Blend on high until smooth.

      03

      Into large saucepan, add cooked pasta and pour cheeze sauce overtop. Stir in peas and warm over medium heat, stirring constantly, until warmed through. Serve and enjoy.

      04

      Any leftovers will keep in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 4 days. To reheat, add a splash of nondairy milk or water and warm over medium heat.

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      You might think of protein as something you mainly get from a meal and, therefore, not a component of dessert. But, if you’re going to opt for dessert from time to time, why not consider working in ingredients that go big on this important macronutrient? It’s easier (and more delicious) than you may think! Protein is an essential part of every cell in your body and plays a starring role in bone, muscle, and skin health. So, certainly, you want to make sure you’re eating enough. And it’s best to spread protein intake throughout the day, since your body needs a continual supply. This is why it can be a great idea to try to include protein in your desserts. When protein is provided in sufficient amounts in a dessert, it may help you feel more satiated and help temper blood sugar swings. Plus, in many cases, that protein comes in a package of other nutritional benefits. For instance, if you’re eating a dessert made with protein-packed Greek yogurt, you’re not just getting protein; you’re getting all the yogurt’s bone-benefitting calcium and immune-boosting probiotics, too. Adding nuts to your dessert doesn’t just provide plant-based protein, but it also provides heart-healthy fats. Yes, desserts need not be just empty calories. Ready for a treat? These protein-filled desserts with a healthy twist are dietitian-approved—and delicious.