There are many recipes out there for vegan mac and cheese. This is not one of them. Here is just a creamy pasta dish that doesn't pretend to be cheesy, but just revels in being delicious. Sawyer enjoys this in blissful ignorance of the fact that cauliflower is the main ingredient. While I believe that kids should enjoy vegetables in their "unhidden" state, Sawyer just doesn't, and I have stopped fighting it. He will eat them in sauces, finely diced in rice dishes, in any number of veggie burger variations, in soup, but just eating them straight is such a chore that I only require him to gag through a bite or two of plain carrot, broccoli, etc. and then call it good. A few weeks ago I bought those dried green beans from Trader Joe's for Abiline, and she was chowing down with such gusto in the car that Sawyer ventured to ask for one. He cautiously chewed it, and then, in breathless disbelief, declared, "I just ate a green bean!"
1 red pepper, roasted and blackened skin removed
1 head of cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets
1 lrg. yellow onion, thinly sliced
1/4 c. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper, or to taste
1 1/2 cups cooked garbanzo beans (or 1 can)
1/4 c. tahini
1/3 c. full-fat coconut milk
1 c. plain non-dairy milk
3 Tbsp. chickpea miso (or mellow white miso, if no soy-allergy)
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 lb. pasta
1 1/2 c. favorite cracker crumbs
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 425. Toss cauliflower and onion with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast cauliflower and onions for 30 mins., on a large baking pan, stirring halfway through. Turn oven down to 375 when you take the veggies out.
2. While the veggies are roasting, bring a large pot of water to boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
3. Place roasted cauliflower and onions in a blender with red pepper, chickpeas, tahini, coconut milk, non-dairy milk, vinegar, and miso and blend until smooth. Taste and add additional salt and pepper as desired.
4. Grease a 9x12 or 11x15 baking disg and add pasta and sauce and stir to combine. In a food processor, pulse crackers into fine crumbs and then add olive oil and pulse to combine. Sprinkle crumbs on top of pasta and bake covered with foil for 15 mins, then uncover and bake for 10 minutes more.
I know Easter is over, but we still love our bunny ears. This is about the only Easter thrill my kids get beyond a piece of allergy-free chocolate bar that we indulged in on Easter morning, since allergy-friendly candy is expensive and scarce. I am fine with that, though, as it allows us to better focus on Christ and the importance of the resurrection instead of on Easter baskets.
This recipe is posted on Wellness Weekend, Meatless Mondays and Allergy-Free Wednesdays.