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By: Christina Anania

Christina Anania is a food and lifestyle blogger. Enjoy some of her other culinary creations by following her (@eatsbytee) on Instagram. Here, she shows us how to make Cashew Mac and Cheese.

After trying this delicious mac and cheese, you won’t believe me when I tell you there is absolutely no dairy included in this recipe. This "cheese" sauce provides a depth of delicious flavors – smoked paprika, garlic, nutritional yeast and turmeric – in every bite. It is extremely easy to make and serves as the ultimate comfort food.

Growing up, my favorite meal was always mac and cheese. I would come home from school and boil a big pot of water. At that point in time, it was the only meal I knew how to make for myself. As I got older and started studying nutrition, I realized that I wasn’t getting any nutritional value from store-bought mac and cheese brands. In fact, I would become sensitive to both dairy and gluten, so I’d have no choice but to stay away from it completely. Since I still considered mac and cheese to be my go-to meal and did not want to give it up, I created a recipe with alternative ingredients. Good news: It tastes so much like the classic meal I grew up with – sans dairy and gluten.

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What I love about this recipe is that it incorporates delicious cheesy flavors and nutrient-dense whole foods, which support our bodies in many different ways. By removing the dairy and gluten, I noticed that I was not experiencing the issues that would arise when I’d eat macaroni and cheese from the box. I also added Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides to my homemade recipe. It’s not only flavorless and odorless but also easily dissolves in hot and cold liquids and foods. Why add it to your Cashew Mac and Cheese recipe? Our Collagen Peptides helps to support healthier hair, skin, nails and joints. Enjoy your savory treat while also reaching your wellness goals – at the same time.

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What I love about being a holistic nutritionist and a recipe developer is that I can still eat the foods I love. I just have to be mindful about swapping a few ingredients and incorporating more nutrient-dense foods. It is so powerful to listen to ourselves and consume foods that support our individual bodies. While making simple changes such as eliminating dairy and gluten from this mac and cheese recipe, I have created a collagen recipe that is absolutely delicious and healthier.

cashew mac and cheese

Cashew Mac and Cheese

Yields 4 servings of Cashew Mac and Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 3 C water
  • 2 C brown rice penne
  • 1 C spinach
  • ½ onion (chopped)
  • 2 T olive oil

Ingredients for Cashew Mac and Cheese Sauce:

  • 1/3 C cashews (soak in hot water for 15-20 minutes)
  • ½ C nutritional yeast
  • 1 scoop Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides
  • ¼ C coconut cream
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1 t smoked paprika
  • 2 T turmeric powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add in penne and boil until cooked.
  2. On the side, heat olive oil in a pan and add chopped onion. 
  3. Soak the cashews in hot water for 15-20 minutes or until soft. Add cashews and the rest of the cheese sauce ingredients into a blender and mix until smooth and creamy.
  4. Drain the noodles and combine into a pan with spinach, salt and pepper, sesame seeds (optional) and cashew cheese sauce. Cook for about 5 minutes on medium.
  5. Add additional hot water to make it creamy.
  6. Serve in a pasta bowl and enjoy!

collagen recipe hint