Pumpkin “Mac & Cheese” With Broccoli
Comfort food and healthy living combine in this recipe, which has all the cheesy goodness of mac and cheese (or cheesy broccoli) without the belly bloat from real cheese or pasta.
1 cup raw cashews
2 ¼ cups water, divided
2, 8-ounce packages brown rice or quinoa pasta elbows or shells
1 head broccoli
1 shallot, diced
juice of 1 lemon, divided
1 cup canned organic pumpkin (or roast your own and mash)
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, or to taste
sea salt to taste
extra herbs/seasonings to taste (try sage, paprika or cinnamon)
To make cashew cream, soak raw cashews in water for about 2 hours, then rinse and drain. Add to 2 cups of water. Blend at high speed for about 2 minutes until it looks like milk.
Cook pasta as directed on package. Meanwhile, chop broccoli into bite-sized pieces. In the last 4 minutes of pasta cooking, add the broccoli (or lightly steam broccoli in another pot if your pasta pot isn’t big enough). Broccoli should look bright green and not too mushy.
Add ¼ cup water to a saucepot on medium heat and water sauté shallots for about 5 minutes. Add half the lemon juice. Add cashew cream and pumpkin and mix well for a few minutes. Turn the heat down to low. Add nutritional yeast and watch as sauce thickens (about another 2-3 minutes). Turn off the heat and drizzle the rest of the lemon juice and the extra virgin olive oil on top. Mix well and add sea salt and spices. Cover and let sit.
When pasta and broccoli are ready, drain and add to individual serving bowls. Add "cheese" mixture. Stir together and enjoy.
Total cook time is 30 minutes (plus 2 hours of soaking time for cashews). Yields 4-6 servings.
© Suzanne Boothby