Of course there is no dairy in this whole foods plant based mac and “cheese.” Traditional mac and cheese recipes can call for 3, 4 or 5 types of dairy products: various cheese varieties, cream cheese, butter, shredded cheese on top. When you think of the calorie breakdown of a dish like that, it would have to be 80-90% calories from fat. Would you believe that my recipe is just as creamy, savory, delicious, and filling with 10-15% of the calories from fat? Believe it!
Many people try to lose or maintain weight through “portion control,” which just means “eat less.” Miraculous as it sounds, when you eat a whole foods plant based diet you really can eat more while losing or maintaining your weight. Think about it: if 1 cup of traditional mac and cheese has 300 calories, you can eat that same 300 calories in this plant based version but heap your plate full of it. You can go back for seconds and thirds of this yummy dish, eat until you are completely full and satisfied and still lose weight. This way of eating is so pleasurable and has such a powerful impact on how I feel every day that it inspired this blog.
What’s the secret to this better-than-any “cheese” sauce? Sweet potato. Enjoy the recipe, and please share.
Best Ever Mac and “Cheese”
2 Large sweet potatoes, baked
2 Cups unsweetened plain soy milk (or other plant-based milk)
1 Onion, roughly chopped
4 Cloves garlic, chopped
2/3 Cup nutritional yeast
1/2 Teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 Teaspoon salt (optional)
Old Bay Seasoning as desired (optional)
1 Package 100% whole wheat macaroni pasta
Preheat the oven to 400F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil on the stove and cook the macaroni pasta. Cook for 1 minute longer than package directions. Drain pasta. Do not rinse.
Peel the baked sweet potatoes. Add them to a blender with the soy milk, onion, garlic, nutritional yeast, smoked paprika, and salt (if using). Blend until very smooth and thick, adding a little more soy milk if necessary.
Place the pasta in a large bowl and add the “cheese” sauce. Mix well. Transfer to a large casserole dish and cover. Bake for 30 minutes. Uncover the dish, top with a few sprinkles of Old Bay (if desired) and continue baking, uncovered, for 10 minutes more. The top of the mac and “cheese” should be slightly crisp when done.