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Author Notes: Taking our traditional conceptions of Macaroni and elevating them to new unprocessed, healthful, and autumnally seasonal heights, today I couldn’t be more excited to share my Creamy Pumpkin Mac N’ Cashew Cheese. Redefining cheesy, this simple vegan Mac is made with a silky and rich cashew sauce base, packed to the brim with B-vitamin and protein rich nutritional yeast, basil and sage, and my secret ingredient, Dijon mustard. Providing that subtle, but necessary hint of vinegar brightness, Dijon, along with their complete line of mustards, ketchups and mayonnaises, are all natural and non-GMO verified. Paired with the warmth of cinnamon and nutmeg and the natural sweetness of the aptly neon orange pumpkin, say hello to not-so-stick-to-your ribs comfort. The perfect big-batch meal, I prepare my Mac on Sunday evenings to keep handy over the busy work-week, always utilizing whole wheat, quinoa, or brown rice based fusilli pasta to get as much sauce in and around each noodle as humanly possible.
because Mac tends to get a bit drier with time, when reheating leftovers, place servings in medium pot with ¼ cup vegetable stock per serving (adding a a bit more if necessary), then bring to desired temperature! —Alexandra Dawson
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 2 cups vegetable broth, divided
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/4 cup fresh basil
- 10 leaves fresh sage
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- juice of half a lemon
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 pound whole wheat fusilli pasta, cooked
- In a medium bowl, cover raw cashews with warm water. Allow cashew to sit for a minimum of 60 minutes. Drain.
- In a high speed blender, or food processor fitted with an S-blade, blend now soaked cashews with 1 cup vegetable broth, nutritional yeast, basil, sage, Dijon mustard, and lemon juice until very smooth. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat until just hot. Stir in garlic, tomato, cinnamon and nutmeg until just fragrant (about 1 minute), and then add pumpkin, remaining 1 cup vegetable broth, and cashew mixture. Season to taste, and then allow sauce to simmer and thicken for 10 minutes.
- Stir in cooked pasta, return to desired temperature, serve and enjoy!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Family's Best Thanksgiving Recipe