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Cheesy Pasta and Broccoli

Cheesy Pasta & Broccoli

I did not grow up in a mac-and-cheese house. In fact, I didn’t grow up in a house with a parent who liked to cook at all so the only mac-and-cheese I ate came from that famous blue and orange box and I never liked it all that much. I think I was an adult the first time I had homemade mac-and-cheese and I was a parent before I started cooking it in my own kitchen. My son, who’s never had animal products or meat, has grown up in a world where there are myriad opportunities to sample vegan versions and he likes this one best. To him, this is the definitive mac-and-cheese all others are compared against. Once you readjust your expectations for the lack of fat and heaviness, I think you may like this as well on its own terms. This is why I don’t call it mac-and-cheese: so people don’t have unrealistic expectations of what it’s supposed to taste like. Creamy, a bit tangy and filling, this mac-and-cheese is easy to make and perfect for a quick, satisfying meal, whether or not you grew up on the stuff. I use gluten-free pasta and flour, but feel free to use whatever you prefer.

Cheesy Pasta & Broccoli

2 cups broccoli, cut into florets
1 lb. penne pasta
1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
2 cups plain, unsweetened vegan milk
2 T. tamari
1 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup chickpea flour (can substitute all-purpose gluten-free or regular flour)
2 t. dried dill
2 t. granulated garlic
1 t. onion powder
1/8 t. turmeric (optional, for color)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 T. fresh lemon juice

Cook pasta in a large pot according to directions. Meanwhile, steam broccoli for about 5 - 7 minutes while pasta is cooking until bright green. (I use a steamer that fits over the pasta pot to cut down on time.) When the pasta is finished, stir in defrosted peas. Drain and rinse.

In a large pot, cook the broth, milk and tamari together over medium-high heat until steam starts to rise. As it’s heating, whisk together the nutritional yeast, chickpea flour and spices.
Add flour mix to the heating broth and whisk frequently until gently bubbling and thickened. Stir in the pasta and peas and cook with the cheesy sauce until heated through. Remove from heat, mix lemon juice through, and serve hot with steamed broccoli.


2013, 2014, Vegan Street

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