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Vegan Cauliflower Mac' n Cheese Casserole with roasted tomato & herb salad

Active Time: 30 minutes / Cook Time: 40 minutes / Total Time: 1 hr 10 minutes, plus overnight soaking of the cashews

Makes 4 servings

Nutrition Corner: Nutritional Yeast
Nutritional yeast can be found in the bulk section of health food stores, and on the shelf. Nutritional yeast has a unique cheese-like flavor, making it a wonderful addition to sauces. Nutritional yeast is loaded with B-vitamins, so it is a good option for anyone who does not consume a lot of meat.

Vegan Cauliflower MacNCheese.JPG

Ingredients:

  • 3 plum tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets (4 cups)
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced
  • Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chives, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Quarter the plum tomatoes and toss with coconut oil and a light seasoning of salt and pepper. Place tomato quarters skin side down on a small baking pan and roast for 15-20 minutes. The tomatoes should just start to caramelize, but they will still be a little firm, not mushy. Let these cool while you prepare the casserole.
  3. Bring a large pot of water (enough to blanch the cauliflower in) to a boil over medium high heat. Add florets and blanch for 2-3 minutes (they should still be semifirm). Drain, cool, and place in a baking dish.
  4. Drain cashews. Add red bell pepper pieces to the bottom of your food processor. Top with cashews (drained, or no?), nutritional yeast, vinegar, garlic, sea salt, and pepper flakes, if using. Process until creamy, adding water a tablespoon at a time if needed to facilitate blending.
  5. Pour sauce over cauliflower and mix to just coat everything.
  6. Top with a dusting of paprika, if using.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbling and starting to brown.
  8. Toss together tomatoes, parsley, chives, and balsamic vinegar to assemble the salad.
  9. Serve about 1 ½ cups casserole and 4 tomato wedges per person for dinner. Package remaining casserole and tomatoes in separate containers in the fridge for lunch tomorrow.