Roasted Tomato Chipotle Mac and Cheese with Cauliflower sauce. Nut-free option. Vegan recipe

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I was thinking of posting a bread today, then decided to make some cheesy pasta for lunch instead and hence the post. mmmm.. mmmmm.. Most days my confort food is things like Gobi Aloo or daal chawal(daal and rice) or rajma chawal( red kidney beans curry and rice).. but there are days when I or hubbs get a pasta craving.

I did not even like mac and cheese before, but the vegan mac and cheese from Bang Bang Cafe (which is 1 block from my house) is delicious and off I went to the kitchen to make me some.


Hubbs and me both were never too fond of cheese and most of our pasta preps usually are a way to eat more veggies. But now with no need for the real cheese, the fresh creamy sauces can be taken to a whole new level with a little twist here and there!

This cheesy sauce feels light on the tummy, has cauliflower cream, some caramelized cherry tomatoes and onions, smoky chipotle pepper flakes and nutritional yeast for the cheese flavor. The mild smoky chipotle peppers and the roasted tomatoes make this one delicious sauce. Adjust the peppers, nutritional yeast, salt to taste. Make more or less sauce per preference.

I am out of elbows, so this is a colorful shells mac and cheese. Use gf pasta for a gf version.


Cherry tomatoes caremlizing with red onions below. sizzle!


Chipotle pepper flakes, Cauliflower and water added to the tomatoes..


Roasted Tomato Chipotle Mac n Cheese
vegan, dairy, egg, soy free. nut free option

Ingredients: Serves 1 , easily doubled, tripled..
1 cup uncooked Pasta( I used spinach and tomato shells)
2 teaspoons organic canola oil
1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes( or regular chopped)
1/4 cup red onion slices
1-2 teaspoons chipotle pepper flakes( to taste, add mroe later if needed)
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder or 2 cloves of garlic chopped
1/3 heaping cup grated Cauliflower
3/4 cup water ( substitute half with non dairy milk for creamier sauce)
1.5 Tablespoon ground raw cashew(or use other thickening options, a few Tablespoons cornstarch or flour for a nutfree sauce)
1/8-1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
1+ Tablespoons nutritional yeast , (less or more to taste)
Topping: 1 Tablespoon coarsely ground raw cashew or bread crumbs mixed with nutritional yeast flakes to taste

Method:
Cook the pasta according to instruction.
In a large pan, add 2 teaspoons organic canola oil and heat on medium high.
Drop in halved cherry tomatoes, or cubed regular tomatoes and onion slices.
Arrange them in one layer and cook for 8-10 minutes until caramelized to your preference. (You can also roast the tomatoes in the oven at 450 degrees for 20-30 minutes.
To make oil-free, dry roast the tomatoes and onions in the oven till slightly caramelized.
Or you can cook them on medium heat in evoo for a non scorched taste. )
Add chipotle pepper flakes, garlic powder and black pepper to the pan and mix for a few seconds.
Add the grated cauliflower, salt and water and bring to a boil. (add more grated cauliflower for more sauce. You can also use small chopped cauliflower. cover and cook till tender)
Let the mixture cool a bit. (If using flour or starch, add to the boiling mixture and mix well).
Blend this mixture with ground cashew and nutritional yeast, into a smooth paste and return to the pan.
Add the pasta, toss, taste and adjust salt, spice, nutritional yeast, mix and bring to a boil on low-medium.(2 minutes)
Remove from heat. Eat.
Top with coarsely ground cashew or bread crumbs mixed in with nutritional yeast for a cheesy sprinkle or any non dairy cheese before serving.
You can also add roasted veggies, blanched broccoli or greens to make this a complete meal!




Some Smiles for the rest of the week.
Chewie, Our adopted fluffster: Hey, I just met you..


Simo, our first foster .. i hope he is being loved and cuddled.. I cried for 3 days when he got adopted..


Tuggie: Our third foster (rescue from a puppy mill).. he pooped in my jacket pocket :). he found a great home with a shih tzu mix to help him learn hid doggy ways.


Chewie loves to get a chest rub!


4 out 5 of our foster dogs(2009-2010), were from Death row dogs in CA. They were picked on the day they were to be put to sleep and put on a plane to Seattle. Can you believe that!
These pretty faces, super adoptable breeds, even puppies, are euthanized in high kill CA shelters with kill rates as high as 60%.
Lets show some love to doggies this weekend in and around Seattle, by dropping by the walk for animals or adoption events. Events Calender here.


50 comments:

  1. this mac and cheeze looks delicious! i love the little bits of "cheese" throughout the pasta. it reminds me of parmigiano cheese! this is such a great alternative to vegan mac and cheeze recipes full of oil/earth balance, flour, etc. DEFINITELY giving this a try ;)

    and i love the pics of chewie and your foster children. you have such a beautiful soul, richa <4

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    1. Let me know when you try it! i dont like to use most of the alternate processed stuff if i can help it... the coarse flavord cashew is soft enough to pass on as a quick parmigiano. Though i dont really remember the orginal cheese taste anymore.. i am super happy with this creamy concoction.:)

      i need to start fostering again. though it is really tough physically and mentally, i miss seeing the faces go from sad to happy:)

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  2. love the addition of cauliflower for vegan creaminess in pasta. Looks absolutely divine.

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    1. Thanks. yep the cauli and cashew make this a wonderful and flexible sauce.

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  3. Cool I love the idea of using a cauliflower cream...must try this.

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    1. Thank! do let me know when you do!

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  4. This sounds really good! I like that you added cauliflower to keep it creamy but light! And chipotle is always a good flavour in my books.

    Your puppies are just adorable. I'd come over and hug and squeeze them any day :)

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    1. i know right.. chipotle works everytime. i like light sauces too! my pom is tired of my sueezes.. but he doesnt mind squeezes from new faces.. so drop on by.:)

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  5. Very interesting recipe. I love mac and cheese and sometimes, I want to have some cheese free version handy for kids with allergies. thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks Srimathi. Hope this works out for you!

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  6. yum yum yum richa. though i do not like pasta, but i can the one you have made here. your pets are simply adorable and cute.

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    1. Thanks Dassana. my dad doesnt like pasta either, but he eats some when its spiced up and has a ton of veggies:)

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  7. I haven't had Mac n' Cheese in years! It always sounds way too heavy for me these days, but I love that you've lightened it up a bit with cauliflower, and then added those gorgeous little tomatoes! Looks so good!

    I love all your little fur babies! I want so badly to foster dogs, like, only 9 or 10 or so. ;-) My Samantha, however, is an old crotchety lady and not interested in having canine roommates,. Oh well- I'm happy to know there's people like you taking them in. :-)

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    1. i know. the only reason i want a bigger house(apart from the need for a bigger kitchen and an extra room for photography, which is not so urgent) is that i want a yard where i can foster a bunch of pups all the time!
      yup the sauce is quite easy on the tummy!

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  8. That sounds really tasty! I can't eat cheese because of a dairy allergy, so this would be great! Thanks for sharing!

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  9. That really looks awesome! I will be definitely trying it out.

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    1. Thanks Karen! do let me know how it works out!

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  10. I have 6 rescues, 1 a foster failure (couldn't let her go when another home was found for her) High props to those who foster!!!!

    Oh, and can't wait to try recipe!

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    1. Thanks Louiseb. i know. i cried for 3 days like a mad woman after my first foster got adopted. my husband was like, if you are going to be a mess after each foster, we cant do it:) got better at it later.

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  11. I'll try the mac and cheeze for dinner tonight...Those photos of cute dogs just melted my heart!

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    1. the cuties are so dear to my heart too. Thanks for trying it out!:)

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  12. This looks incredible! Such great flavors, yum!!

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  13. We never grew up with mac and cheese in my house, but this looks so good!

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    1. me too. no pasta while growing up.. i think i first ate cheese when i was 15:)

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  14. oh my gosh YUM!!! i am drooling over those photos! and wow, those pups are so hilarious and cute:)

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  15. I made this for dinner last night and it was AMAZING. used regular tomatoes, chopped, extra cauliflower, and crushed red pepper/liquid smoke as a sub for chipotle. I also quadrupled the recipe and froze half. Thanks for a great dinner!

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    1. Thank you for trying it out and liking it Dominique! :) liquid smoke would give a similar smoky flavor.. yumm :) xoxo

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  16. I love your take on mac and cheese! I could add chipotle to anything - love the stuff! Can't wait to try your recipe and your dogs are just adorable...bet they were hoping you'd drop some mac on the floor for them ;)

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    1. yeah chewie sits at the kitchen entrance when i cook and comes in when i am done to vacuum the floor:) Do let me know when you try it!

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  17. YUmmm, Im making this for my boyfriend using brown rice penne. He loves pasta! Such cute doggies!

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  18. Yum - that pasta looks delicious! So creamy and rich looking but without the heaviness of other cream-based or cheesy pasta dishes. I like the idea of adding broccoli or greens to make it even healthier!

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  19. It's so wonderful that you were able to foster those gorgeous dogs!

    Your pasta looks lovely. I like the idea of the cauliflower cream making it so healthy as well as vegan (and delicious!).

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  20. Love the doggies and the ronis!!!

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  21. Aw, your fosters are so cute. Thanks for the recipe, I'm saving it to Pinterest next. I can't have cashew (darn, wish I could because so many recipes use a cashew cream) so I often substitute almond. But I like the idea of the cauliflower in the sauce and here I think I'll stick with the cauliflower, roasted tomato, and chipotle, that should be plenty flavorful with or without the nuts.

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  22. This Looks awesome! Can you use chia instead of cashews?
    Can you eliminate the tomatoes and hot spices to make it "mild cheddar"?
    Thanks!!! I wish I had cauliflower in the house to make this tonight :)

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    1. Sure you can. Increase the cauliflower for more sauce. The chia will help thicken it a bit too, but wont add much creamy bulk. You can use blanched cauli or grate and cook for a few minutes, puree with nutritional yeast and salt. bring to a boil with the pasta, top with daiya cheddar. Let me know how it turns out. Theres is a cashew cream base sauce on the blog too in case you are out of cauliflower. http://www.veganricha.com/2012/03/spinach-penne-with-red-bell-peppers.html

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  23. This mac and cheese looks amazing! The chipotle flavoring sounds really interesting, I'm excited to try that out next time I cook dinner.

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  24. Richa you are such an amazing person - I don't understand how they can put those adorable pups to sleep or the people that do not take active steps to prevent overbreeding - In NH we have one of the Highest placement rates/adoption rates for pups and they come from all over the US.

    LOVE this take on Mac n' cheese, my tummy is ah grumbling for some!

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    1. Thanks Heather. They definitely need better laws in states like CA with so much overbreeding.

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  25. I followed a link here from vegansaurus and was surprised to find a shout-out to Bang Bang's vegan mac! It's definitely the best ever. I started going there right when they first opened and I wish I was still Seattle so I could eat some. :(

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    1. You can make this one! its quick and easy. i will try to replicate bang bang's version soon too.

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  26. just made this! delicious. even licked my stirring spoon clean! yum.

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    1. Thanks for trying out and loving it Ange! xoxo

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  27. Hey Richa, I just realized I forgot to tell you I made your delicious sauce. Delicious! Thank you for sharing! This was my version: http://tastespace.wordpress.com/2013/01/19/red-lentil-fusilli-with-zippy-vegan-rose-sauce/

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  28. Replies
    1. There is a pint it button at the top of the post and P button at the bottom. both will open the pin it box

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  29. I made this over the weekend & it was seriously the best thing I've eaten in a long time!!!! Sooooo delicious!!! I will be making this often :)

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Hi! I am Richa. I love to whip up plant-based meals which make me and hubbs swoon and not miss any animal or animal products in them. Find out more About Me here.


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