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Magic Mac & Cheese

Magic Mac & Cheese

Having been vegan for many years now, whenever I talk to people who want guidance on inching more in the plant-based direction, the very first bit of advice I give is to do what they can to leave dairy behind. Why? According to PCRM, approximately 75% of the world’s population and 25% of the U.S. population is lactose intolerant, with especially high numbers among those of African, Asian, Native American, Arab, Jewish, Hispanic, Italian and Greek ancestry. Lactose intolerance, which is an inability to digest milk sugar lactose, doesn’t manifest like a life-threatening peanut allergy but to those with a dairy intolerance, it creates real health and vitality consequences, especially with regard to gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhea, bloating and cramps. Many people just accept these symptoms as an annoying part of life, not realizing that they are the completely avoidable result of being unable to properly digest dairy and these symptoms do affect one’s quality of life. When people remove dairy from their diets, many reap immediate benefits: Headaches become less frequent. Stomach upset diminishes or disappears. Skin can clear up. Constipation can become a thing of the past. Giving up dairy is a huge gift to yourself, as well as a gift for the planet, overtaxed by animal agribusiness, and the cows not born into miserable conditions, forced impregnations, exploitation and brutality. A problem is that many people can’t imagine a life without cheese. In addition, many people I talk to have largely cut dairy out of their lives but for creamer or yogurt. Especially with so many beloved recipes being saturated with dairy – eggplant parmesan, lasagna, cheesecake, tiramisu, to name a few – it can be very hard to know where and how to start. The Dairy Detox to the rescue!

Plant-based power duo Allison Rivers Samson (an accomplished chef among other things) and Michelle Cehn (a filmmaking whiz among other things) have teamed up to create The Dairy Detox, an exciting new 12-day program designed to help people easily and completely wean themselves off dairy milk and products without an iota of sacrifice. That’s right: just 12 days is all it takes to get through to the other side of dairy-free, and along the way, you’ll learn how to make milks, cheeses, butter and ice cream without any pesky lactose. (Or cholesterol or animal suffering!) You will start reaping rewards immediately. Allison and Michelle provide the daily videos and course materials to help people seamlessly and gracefully kick the dairy habit for good with recipes, guidance, tips and a support structure. Ever thought that you’d love to quit dairy and you just need more assistance? Know someone like that? The Dairy Detox is designed with these folks in mind. The first session starts November 1. At just $67, there has never been a better – or easier – time to give dairy freedom a try.

Allison is widely known for her velvety plant-based mac and cheese, which has been the most popular recipe featured by VegNews magazine. Well, this is her latest and greatest. It’s made with only the cleanest ingredients, including some that may surprise you. That’s why it’s called magic!


Magic Mac & Cheese

8 ounces dry pasta, cooked al dente
¼ cup unflavored
(refined, not virgin) coconut oil
⅓ cup chopped yellow onion
¼ cup diced carrots
¾ cup cooked garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1½ cups water
¼ cup raw, unsalted sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
¼ teaspoon mild Dijon mustard

In a large stockpot, cook the pasta according to package, drain, rinse, and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a sauté pan over medium heat, add oil, onion, carrots, garbanzo beans,
garlic, salt, paprika, and pepper. Sauté for 5 minutes. Add water, sunflower seeds, vinegar,
and Dijon. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low-medium, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.

In a blender, process cooked contents of the sauté pan until completely smooth—this is
important. Test for smoothness by removing a spoonful, allowing to cool for a minute, and
then rubbing sauce between thumb and forefinger.

In a large bowl, toss together the sauce with cooked pasta and serve hot.

• Unflavored coconut oil, also called “refined coconut oil,” is sold in jars in most health food
stores. The most common brand is Spectrum. The “virgin” variety tastes like coconut, and is
best for coconut-flavored dishes. Other options are sunflower or safflower oil, as well as a
homemade non-dairy butter/margarine or store-bought like Miyoko’s Creamery or Earth
Balance. Feel free to use less if you prefer.

• Raw, unsalted cashews can be used instead of sunflower seeds, but will add a touch
sweetness to the flavor.

© 2013-2016, Vegan Street

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