Spinach Artichoke Mac & Cheese Recipe

Spinach Artichoke Mac & Cheese Recipe

Spinach Artichoke Mac and Cheese

Spinach Artichoke Mac and Cheese is delicious, plant-based comfort food with 17 grams of protein and 9 grams of fiber per serving. Fast, 1-pot prep with pantry and freezer ingredients.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 8 ounces pasta use whatever you have
  • 1 cup cashews see recipe notes for substitution options
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 bag frozen riced cauliflower ~2 cups, substitute can of white beans
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes optional: replace with 1/2 tsp ground mustard and/or a splash of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 red onion substitute 1 Tbsp. onion powder
  • 5 garlic cloves substitute 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 14 ounce artichoke hearts drained
  • 1 bag frozen spinach or 5 cups fresh
  • 14 ounce canned lentils or ~1 3/4 cups cooked
  • 1 cup bread crumbs optional, see notes
  • 1/2 cup vegan cheese optional

Instructions
 

  • If working with frozen cauliflower and spinach, place packages in sink and cover with warm water to thaw.
  • In a large soup pot, bring water to boil for pasta. Optional: when water reaches boiling point, add salt to the water to give pasta flavor (about 1 Tbsp per 8 cups). Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente.
  • Add to the blender the cashews and water (or a substitute as discussed in the recipe notes), riced cauliflower, yeast flakes, onion, garlic and salt. Puree until creamy and smooth. Add the artichoke hearts and pulse into small chunks.
  • Drain the pasta. Keep the pasta in the colander and add spinach to the warm pot. Heat on low until wilted or thawed. Splash with water to avoid sticking.
  • Return pasta to the pot and stir in cream sauce. At this point, it's done and delicious. You can serve as is.
  • Or, preheat broiler. Top with bread crumbs and vegan cheese. Broil a few minutes until bubbly and browning. I did not switch to a casserole dish. Just lowered the oven rack and used the soup pot.

Notes

Pasta: Use whatever you have. I like the high protein and fiber gluten free pastas that have recently come to the market. For this recipe, I used Banza rotini made from chickpeas. 
Pasta preparation tip: Add ~1 Tbsp. salt to boiling water with pasta to add flavor. Don’t worry—the salt dissolves in the entire pot of water, and the pasta absorbs a very small amount. No chance of salt overload as you drain the majority of it off.
No Cashews? If you don't or can't have cashews, you have options. You can use walnuts or almonds, and if tree nuts are a problem, try pumpkin, sunflower or sesame seeds (substitute one cup of nuts or seeds and add with 1 cup of water). Alternatively, you could use a can of white beans, lentils, a block of tofu, or hummus. You could also double the riced cauliflower or add another can of artichoke hearts. Other options that make great cream sauces are potatoes, yellow squash and pumpkin. How much do you add? Replace 1 cup of cashews and 1 cup of water with one ~14 ounce can or the amount needed to generate about 1 3/4 cups of puree.
Breadcrumbs: Got stale bread?--throw that into the blender along with some garlic and onion powder or other seasonings. Bam. Bread crumbs).
Sticky Blender Solution: Did you know that your blender will wash itself? Yep. Just fill it 2/3 water and a drop of dish soap. Blend until clean.
Love mac and cheese? Try my other recipes:

Dairy free, high protein with extra veggies. Kids give this 5 stars!


Vegan Mac & Cheese (Dairy, Gluten and Soy Free)


Macaroni & Cheese (Nut-free version)


Dairy Free Alfredo Sauce

Spinach Artichoke Mac and Cheese

Spinach Artichoke Mac and Cheese is delicious, plant-based comfort food with 17 grams of protein and 9 grams of fiber per serving. Fast, 1-pot prep with pantry and freezer ingredients.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 8 ounces pasta use whatever you have
  • 1 cup cashews see recipe notes for substitution options
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 bag frozen riced cauliflower ~2 cups, substitute can of white beans
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes optional: replace with 1/2 tsp ground mustard and/or a splash of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 red onion substitute 1 Tbsp. onion powder
  • 5 garlic cloves substitute 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 14 ounce artichoke hearts drained
  • 1 bag frozen spinach or 5 cups fresh
  • 14 ounce canned lentils or ~1 3/4 cups cooked
  • 1 cup bread crumbs optional, see notes
  • 1/2 cup vegan cheese optional

Instructions
 

  • If working with frozen cauliflower and spinach, place packages in sink and cover with warm water to thaw.
  • In a large soup pot, bring water to boil for pasta. Optional: when water reaches boiling point, add salt to the water to give pasta flavor (about 1 Tbsp per 8 cups). Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente.
  • Add to the blender the cashews and water (or a substitute as discussed in the recipe notes), riced cauliflower, yeast flakes, onion, garlic and salt. Puree until creamy and smooth. Add the artichoke hearts and pulse into small chunks.
  • Drain the pasta. Keep the pasta in the colander and add spinach to the warm pot. Heat on low until wilted or thawed. Splash with water to avoid sticking.
  • Return pasta to the pot and stir in cream sauce. At this point, it's done and delicious. You can serve as is.
  • Or, preheat broiler. Top with bread crumbs and vegan cheese. Broil a few minutes until bubbly and browning. I did not switch to a casserole dish. Just lowered the oven rack and used the soup pot.

Notes

Pasta: Use whatever you have. I like the high protein and fiber gluten free pastas that have recently come to the market. For this recipe, I used Banza rotini made from chickpeas. 
Pasta preparation tip: Add ~1 Tbsp. salt to boiling water with pasta to add flavor. Don’t worry—the salt dissolves in the entire pot of water, and the pasta absorbs a very small amount. No chance of salt overload as you drain the majority of it off.
No Cashews? If you don't or can't have cashews, you have options. You can use walnuts or almonds, and if tree nuts are a problem, try pumpkin, sunflower or sesame seeds (substitute one cup of nuts or seeds and add with 1 cup of water). Alternatively, you could use a can of white beans, lentils, a block of tofu, or hummus. You could also double the riced cauliflower or add another can of artichoke hearts. Other options that make great cream sauces are potatoes, yellow squash and pumpkin. How much do you add? Replace 1 cup of cashews and 1 cup of water with one ~14 ounce can or the amount needed to generate about 1 3/4 cups of puree.
Breadcrumbs: Got stale bread?--throw that into the blender along with some garlic and onion powder or other seasonings. Bam. Bread crumbs).
Sticky Blender Solution: Did you know that your blender will wash itself? Yep. Just fill it 2/3 water and a drop of dish soap. Blend until clean.
Love mac and cheese? Try my other recipes:

Dairy free, high protein with extra veggies. Kids give this 5 stars!


Vegan Mac & Cheese (Dairy, Gluten and Soy Free)


Macaroni & Cheese (Nut-free version)


Dairy Free Alfredo Sauce

Vegan Creamed Spinach Recipe

Vegan Creamed Spinach Recipe

Vegan Creamed Spinach Recipe

This rich, vegan creamed spinach has an elegant Steakhouse-style presentation--sans butter, cream and cheese. Plant-based recipes can be as simple and delicious as their artery-clogging counterparts. Easy prep, and done within 10 minutes. Make this with other leafy greens as well, such as swiss chard, mustard, collard or beet greens and kale.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Sides and Snacks
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 14 ounce white beans cannellini, navy, garbanzo or or other
  • 1/4 cup cashews substitute walnut or almonds
  • 1/2 Sweet Onion loosely chopped, substitute 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 cloves of garlic substitute 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar substitute lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • pepper to taste
  • dash of nutmeg or red pepper flakes optional
  • 10-15 ounces fresh spinach frozen ok

Instructions
 

  • Blend all ingredients except spinach until creamy and smooth.
  • Transfer cream to a skillet. Turn on low heat. Add spinach by the handfuls, stirring constantly, adding more spinach as each batch wilts. If sticking occurs, either reduce the heat or splash with water. Remove from heat as last batch cooks. If using a cast iron skillet, remove from heat before it's finished as it will continue to cook.
  • Alternately, sauté spinach on low heat in a little water before adding the cream. As the volume decreases, add the cream sauce. Remove from heat.

Notes

Sticky Blender Solution: Did you know that your blender will wash itself? Yep. Just fill it 2/3 water and a drop of dish soap. Blend until clean.
The volume of this dish depends on how you cook the spinach. If you use the second method, or substitute frozen spinach, the spinach is evenly cooked. If significantly reduced, you may need to hold back some of the sauce (or add more spinach). This is why I prefer the first method, as some of the spinach leaves remain large and fresh looking. Cooking in cast iron skillets is a bit "touchy."  but it can work. A stainless steel skillet would be easier. Either way, keep the heat low and stir constantly.

Vegan Creamed Spinach Recipe

This rich, vegan creamed spinach has an elegant Steakhouse-style presentation--sans butter, cream and cheese. Plant-based recipes can be as simple and delicious as their artery-clogging counterparts. Easy prep, and done within 10 minutes. Make this with other leafy greens as well, such as swiss chard, mustard, collard or beet greens and kale.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Sides and Snacks
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 14 ounce white beans cannellini, navy, garbanzo or or other
  • 1/4 cup cashews substitute walnut or almonds
  • 1/2 Sweet Onion loosely chopped, substitute 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 cloves of garlic substitute 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar substitute lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • pepper to taste
  • dash of nutmeg or red pepper flakes optional
  • 10-15 ounces fresh spinach frozen ok

Instructions
 

  • Blend all ingredients except spinach until creamy and smooth.
  • Transfer cream to a skillet. Turn on low heat. Add spinach by the handfuls, stirring constantly, adding more spinach as each batch wilts. If sticking occurs, either reduce the heat or splash with water. Remove from heat as last batch cooks. If using a cast iron skillet, remove from heat before it's finished as it will continue to cook.
  • Alternately, sauté spinach on low heat in a little water before adding the cream. As the volume decreases, add the cream sauce. Remove from heat.

Notes

Sticky Blender Solution: Did you know that your blender will wash itself? Yep. Just fill it 2/3 water and a drop of dish soap. Blend until clean.
The volume of this dish depends on how you cook the spinach. If you use the second method, or substitute frozen spinach, the spinach is evenly cooked. If significantly reduced, you may need to hold back some of the sauce (or add more spinach). This is why I prefer the first method, as some of the spinach leaves remain large and fresh looking. Cooking in cast iron skillets is a bit "touchy."  but it can work. A stainless steel skillet would be easier. Either way, keep the heat low and stir constantly.
Spinach Artichoke Spaghetti Squash

Spinach Artichoke Spaghetti Squash

Spinach Artichoke Spaghetti Squash

Spinach artichoke spaghetti squash upgrades the rich and tangy classic into a comforting, plant-based meal packed with fiber and protein. No dairy, oil or added sugar, quick and easy prep.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Main Dish
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

Spaghetti squash

  • 1 spaghetti squash

Spinach artichoke cream sauce

  • 1 cup cashews soaked if possible, substitute/combine with walnuts or almonds
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 Sweet Onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar substitute lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 14 ounce artichoke hearts drained
  • 5 ounces fresh spinach ~4 cups (or use 10 oz package of frozen)
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs OPTIONAL
  • 1/2 cup vegan shredded cheese OPTIONAL

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove sticker from squash. Place whole in oven on a baking sheet. Bake 35-40 minutes (depending on size). Err on the side of caution as you don't want to overcook. You want the strands to be firm, not mushy. Remove from oven when it starts to brown on top. Immediately cut open to release steam and stop the baking. Check for doneness using a fork to separate the strands. Return to oven if not soft enough. Allow to cool. Remove seeds and fluff strands with a fork.
  • While the squash is baking, add all of the cream ingredients except the artichoke and spinach to blender. Blend until creamy and smooth. Drain the artichoke hearts and add to blender. If using frozen spinach, add that now and skip the next step. Pulse a few times to chop, but don't puree. Chunks are good.
  • [Only if using fresh spinach], transfer cream to a sauce pan. Add the spinach. Heat on low and stir continuously until spinach is bright green and wilted. Remove from heat.
  • Pour spinach artichoke cream sauce into the spaghetti squash. Stir to blend the layers. Alternatively, you can transfer the spaghetti squash from its skin into a casserole dish and blend in the cream. Sprinkle with optional toppings (bread crumbs and vegan cheese) if desired.
  • Set oven to broil. Broil for 3-4 minutes. Do not walk away—watch it. It goes from bubbly to burned in seconds.
  • Use a sharp knife to cut through the strands. Use a spatula to transfer to plate. Garnish with black pepper and serve.

Notes

If your spaghetti squash is very large, consider increasing the amount of spinach artichoke cream by half or even double.
Cashews are expensive. Walnuts and almonds are too, but less so. Substitute with either. Look for bulk cashews on Amazon. Soak the entire batch overnight. Dry and store in freezer. Then they are always ready to go. Learn more about the importance of soaking nuts and beans.

Spinach Artichoke Spaghetti Squash

Spinach artichoke spaghetti squash upgrades the rich and tangy classic into a comforting, plant-based meal packed with fiber and protein. No dairy, oil or added sugar, quick and easy prep.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Main Dish
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

Spaghetti squash

  • 1 spaghetti squash

Spinach artichoke cream sauce

  • 1 cup cashews soaked if possible, substitute/combine with walnuts or almonds
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 Sweet Onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar substitute lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 14 ounce artichoke hearts drained
  • 5 ounces fresh spinach ~4 cups (or use 10 oz package of frozen)
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs OPTIONAL
  • 1/2 cup vegan shredded cheese OPTIONAL

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove sticker from squash. Place whole in oven on a baking sheet. Bake 35-40 minutes (depending on size). Err on the side of caution as you don't want to overcook. You want the strands to be firm, not mushy. Remove from oven when it starts to brown on top. Immediately cut open to release steam and stop the baking. Check for doneness using a fork to separate the strands. Return to oven if not soft enough. Allow to cool. Remove seeds and fluff strands with a fork.
  • While the squash is baking, add all of the cream ingredients except the artichoke and spinach to blender. Blend until creamy and smooth. Drain the artichoke hearts and add to blender. If using frozen spinach, add that now and skip the next step. Pulse a few times to chop, but don't puree. Chunks are good.
  • [Only if using fresh spinach], transfer cream to a sauce pan. Add the spinach. Heat on low and stir continuously until spinach is bright green and wilted. Remove from heat.
  • Pour spinach artichoke cream sauce into the spaghetti squash. Stir to blend the layers. Alternatively, you can transfer the spaghetti squash from its skin into a casserole dish and blend in the cream. Sprinkle with optional toppings (bread crumbs and vegan cheese) if desired.
  • Set oven to broil. Broil for 3-4 minutes. Do not walk away—watch it. It goes from bubbly to burned in seconds.
  • Use a sharp knife to cut through the strands. Use a spatula to transfer to plate. Garnish with black pepper and serve.

Notes

If your spaghetti squash is very large, consider increasing the amount of spinach artichoke cream by half or even double.
Cashews are expensive. Walnuts and almonds are too, but less so. Substitute with either. Look for bulk cashews on Amazon. Soak the entire batch overnight. Dry and store in freezer. Then they are always ready to go. Learn more about the importance of soaking nuts and beans.
Black Rice Kimchi with Cilantro Ginger Cream

Black Rice Kimchi with Cilantro Ginger Cream

Black Rice Kimchi with Cilantro Ginger Cream

A trifecta of fragrant flavors! The earthy beans and black rice are balanced by the savory spice of kimchi and brightened with cilantro ginger cream. Packed with probiotics, fiber and protein, this colorful dish electrifies the taste buds with mouthwatering sensations.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Dish
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

Black Beans, Black Rice, Kimchi

  • 1 tsp. Veggie Bouillon
  • 1.75 cup water substitute veggie broth and omit the bouillon
  • 1 cup Black Rice
  • 14.5 ounce black beans (canned) ~1.75 cup
  • 1 cup kimchi

Cilantro ginger cream sauce

  • 1/2 cup cashews substitute almonds, soaked if possible
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup Fresh Cilantro loosely packed
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 1/2 inch cube ginger substitute 1/2 - 1 tsp. ginger powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder or one small garlic clove
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes optional

Instructions
 

  • Whisk bouillon into 1.75 cups of water. Add 1 cup of of black rice. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for ~20 minutes, until rice is tender. Fluff with a fork. Stir in 1 can of black beans and kimchi (depending on the variety, you may want to chop the kimchi into smaller pieces).
  • Add cilantro ginger cream ingredients to a high speed blender. Blend until creamy and smooth.
  • Fluff rice with a fork. Stir in 1 can of black beans and kimchi (depending on the variety, you may want to chop the kimchi into smaller pieces).
  • Drizzle cilantro ginger cream over the rice, beans and kimchi. Serve warm.

Notes

High quality, store-bought veggie broth is expensive. I use veggie broth in a lot of my recipes, but instead of paying $1/cup for the organic brands, I keep Better than Bouillon Organic Vegetable Base in my pantry.
I purchased this delicious kimchi (and other things) from the new Juice Jar in Fort Wayne. Support local businesses that offer healthy options.
If you've never tried black rice, I highly recommend. It's really good for you. Read more about the benefits . . .
Vegan Black Bean Queso Blanco

Vegan Black Bean Queso Blanco

Vegan Black Bean Queso Blanco

Vegan Black Bean Queso Blanco is hearty, creamy and rich. Serve as is, stuff inside a tortilla/ romaine lettuce wrap, pour over greens, rice or chips. Packed with fiber, protein and a rainbow of antioxidants, it's a legit fiesta in your mouth.
Prep Time 12 mins
Cook Time 8 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Main Dish
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

Cheese sauce

  • 1/2 cup cashews soaked if possible
  • 1 cups water
  • 3 Tbsp. arrowroot flour substitute 1/4 cup of tapioca flour
  • 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp onion granules substitute onion powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp. miso paste optional, substitute 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. tahini optional, substitute plain hummus
  • 1/2 tsp. ume plum vinegar optional, substitute apple cider vinegar

Black Bean Casserole

  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup Sweet Onion chopped
  • 1/2 cup red cabbage chopped: optional, but awesome
  • 1 Tbsp. Diced Jalapeno optional, canned okay
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper chopped
  • 1 can black beans drained and rinsed; or prepare your own from scratch
  • 1/2 cup Sweet Corn
  • 1 tomato, large chopped
  • 2 tsp. lime juice
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 cup cilantro and/or green onion optional for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Place ingredients for cheese sauce in a high speed blender. Don't worry if you don't have the harder to find ingredients. You can make the substitutions, or keep it simple and taste at the end to see if you need more flavor.
  • Blend cheese sauce ingredients on high for 8-15 minutes, depending on your blender's capacity. Once you see steam, you know you're close. At some point, it will stop bouncing around like a liquid and you'll hear a down-shift in the blender's motor. That's when you know it's done. If you don't have a high speed blender, transfer to a sauce pan and heat on medium low for 8-9 minutes, stirring regularly, until it's thickened.
  • In a skillet, sauce the garlic, onion, cabbage and jalapeno for a few minutes until soft. Add green pepper for another minute or two (don't overcook, color should stay bright green). Add black beans, corn, tomato, lime juice, chili powder, salt and turmeric. Continue to heat as you stir until everything is hot. Remove from heat.
  • Stir in the cheese sauce and garnish with cilantro and green onion. Serve warm.
  • Serving suggestions: Wrap in a tortilla shell or romaine lettuce leaf. Serve with salsa and guacamole. You can also serve over rice or create a taco salad with greens and crumbled tortilla chips. Or keep it simple: grab a spoon and enjoy.

Notes

A word about the optional and substitute ingredients in the cheese sauce:
Here's the thing. Cashew cream is really good, no matter what you do to it. The suggested ingredients create a very specific, mozzarella-esq flavor. I have listed the ingredients in order of importance. If you don't have the miso, tahini or ume plum vinegar, make it without and taste it. Then you can either add more of what you have or try the suggested substitutions.
Also, arrowroot is not gluten free, if that matters to you. Tapioca flour works almost as well. It's not quite as thick, but adding the extra tablespoon brings it darn close.
The vegetable ingredients are optional too. Mix and match, use what you have. It's queso, not complicated. Use your imagination.

Vegan Black Bean Queso Blanco

Vegan Black Bean Queso Blanco is hearty, creamy and rich. Serve as is, stuff inside a tortilla/ romaine lettuce wrap, pour over greens, rice or chips. Packed with fiber, protein and a rainbow of antioxidants, it's a legit fiesta in your mouth.
Prep Time 12 mins
Cook Time 8 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Main Dish
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

Cheese sauce

  • 1/2 cup cashews soaked if possible
  • 1 cups water
  • 3 Tbsp. arrowroot flour substitute 1/4 cup of tapioca flour
  • 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp onion granules substitute onion powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp. miso paste optional, substitute 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. tahini optional, substitute plain hummus
  • 1/2 tsp. ume plum vinegar optional, substitute apple cider vinegar

Black Bean Casserole

  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup Sweet Onion chopped
  • 1/2 cup red cabbage chopped: optional, but awesome
  • 1 Tbsp. Diced Jalapeno optional, canned okay
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper chopped
  • 1 can black beans drained and rinsed; or prepare your own from scratch
  • 1/2 cup Sweet Corn
  • 1 tomato, large chopped
  • 2 tsp. lime juice
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 cup cilantro and/or green onion optional for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Place ingredients for cheese sauce in a high speed blender. Don't worry if you don't have the harder to find ingredients. You can make the substitutions, or keep it simple and taste at the end to see if you need more flavor.
  • Blend cheese sauce ingredients on high for 8-15 minutes, depending on your blender's capacity. Once you see steam, you know you're close. At some point, it will stop bouncing around like a liquid and you'll hear a down-shift in the blender's motor. That's when you know it's done. If you don't have a high speed blender, transfer to a sauce pan and heat on medium low for 8-9 minutes, stirring regularly, until it's thickened.
  • In a skillet, sauce the garlic, onion, cabbage and jalapeno for a few minutes until soft. Add green pepper for another minute or two (don't overcook, color should stay bright green). Add black beans, corn, tomato, lime juice, chili powder, salt and turmeric. Continue to heat as you stir until everything is hot. Remove from heat.
  • Stir in the cheese sauce and garnish with cilantro and green onion. Serve warm.
  • Serving suggestions: Wrap in a tortilla shell or romaine lettuce leaf. Serve with salsa and guacamole. You can also serve over rice or create a taco salad with greens and crumbled tortilla chips. Or keep it simple: grab a spoon and enjoy.

Notes

A word about the optional and substitute ingredients in the cheese sauce:
Here's the thing. Cashew cream is really good, no matter what you do to it. The suggested ingredients create a very specific, mozzarella-esq flavor. I have listed the ingredients in order of importance. If you don't have the miso, tahini or ume plum vinegar, make it without and taste it. Then you can either add more of what you have or try the suggested substitutions.
Also, arrowroot is not gluten free, if that matters to you. Tapioca flour works almost as well. It's not quite as thick, but adding the extra tablespoon brings it darn close.
The vegetable ingredients are optional too. Mix and match, use what you have. It's queso, not complicated. Use your imagination.
Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Soup

My kids love Broccoli Cheddar Soup from Panera (which contains processed cheese, whole milk, cream, butter, flour and fillers). It may be good, but it's not healthy. I reviewed my vegan cheese sauce recipes, researched cheddar flavor and experimented with combinations. The thick and creamy result was taste-tested and approved.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 Bowls

Ingredients
  

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

  • 2 heads broccoli substitute 1-2 bags frozen broccoli
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 1 Sweet Onion chopped
  • 6 cups veggie broth
  • 1 cup cashews soaked if possible, substitute almonds
  • 14 oz full fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup arrow root substitute tapioca flour for gluten free
  • 4-5 garlic gloves
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric

Optional Ingredients:

  • 1 cup yeast flakes
  • 1/2 Tbsp. miso paste
  • 1 tsp. ume plum vinegar

Instructions
 

  • Separate broccoli florets from the stems. Set aside the florets. Loosely chop the stems and carrots.
  • Add stems and carrots to blender or food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. (You can also add the onions if you don't feel like chopping, or want them more minced.)
  • Place chopped broccoli stems, carrots, chopped onion and veggie broth in a stock pot. Turn on medium heat. Simmer for about 10 minutes, until vegetables soften (You'll cook another 10 minutes after adding the cheddar cream, so don't over-cook).
  • For cream sauce, add cashews, coconut milk, arrow root, garlic, apple cider vinegar, tomato paste, salt, smoked paprika and turmeric to the blender. If you have the optional ingredients, add those as well. I highly recommend all of them. But if you don't keep such things on hand, proceed. The optional ingredients add a subtle depth. You'll appreciate them, but you won't miss them. Blend on high until creamy.
  • Add cream sauce from blender to the veggie broth in the stock pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer. Stir continuously and whisk any lumps that form. Soup will thicken in 8-9 minutes.
  • Add broccoli florets about 1 minute before removing from heat. They will soften and turn bright green. Over-cooking will result in pale green, mushy florets. Of course, if that's preferred, let it happen.

Notes

Whenever I cook, I always try to use what I have. I've added cauliflower, greens, peas, corn, cabbage and even zucchini. It all works. 

Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Soup

My kids love Broccoli Cheddar Soup from Panera (which contains processed cheese, whole milk, cream, butter, flour and fillers). It may be good, but it's not healthy. I reviewed my vegan cheese sauce recipes, researched cheddar flavor and experimented with combinations. The thick and creamy result was taste-tested and approved.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 Bowls

Ingredients
  

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

  • 2 heads broccoli substitute 1-2 bags frozen broccoli
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 1 Sweet Onion chopped
  • 6 cups veggie broth
  • 1 cup cashews soaked if possible, substitute almonds
  • 14 oz full fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup arrow root substitute tapioca flour for gluten free
  • 4-5 garlic gloves
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric

Optional Ingredients:

  • 1 cup yeast flakes
  • 1/2 Tbsp. miso paste
  • 1 tsp. ume plum vinegar

Instructions
 

  • Separate broccoli florets from the stems. Set aside the florets. Loosely chop the stems and carrots.
  • Add stems and carrots to blender or food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. (You can also add the onions if you don't feel like chopping, or want them more minced.)
  • Place chopped broccoli stems, carrots, chopped onion and veggie broth in a stock pot. Turn on medium heat. Simmer for about 10 minutes, until vegetables soften (You'll cook another 10 minutes after adding the cheddar cream, so don't over-cook).
  • For cream sauce, add cashews, coconut milk, arrow root, garlic, apple cider vinegar, tomato paste, salt, smoked paprika and turmeric to the blender. If you have the optional ingredients, add those as well. I highly recommend all of them. But if you don't keep such things on hand, proceed. The optional ingredients add a subtle depth. You'll appreciate them, but you won't miss them. Blend on high until creamy.
  • Add cream sauce from blender to the veggie broth in the stock pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer. Stir continuously and whisk any lumps that form. Soup will thicken in 8-9 minutes.
  • Add broccoli florets about 1 minute before removing from heat. They will soften and turn bright green. Over-cooking will result in pale green, mushy florets. Of course, if that's preferred, let it happen.

Notes

Whenever I cook, I always try to use what I have. I've added cauliflower, greens, peas, corn, cabbage and even zucchini. It all works. 
Spicy Thai Lasagna

Spicy Thai Lasagna

Spicy Thai Lasagna

Spicy Thai Lasagna infuses a savory Italian dish with a burst of Indian flavor. The chili garlic and sriracha sauce marinate eggplant, mushroom, tomato and kale. A cooling cashew cream softens the heat—a perfect blend of yin and yang. This unique recipe is an absolute delight to the senses.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Indian, Italian
Servings 10

Ingredients
  

Spicy Thai Sauce

  • 1/2 cup tamari/Liquid Braggs/soy sauce of choice)
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 3 Tbsp. chili garlic sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. sriracha
  • 3 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. sesame oil optional

Veggie Layer

  • 2 Eggplant chopped into cubes
  • 8 oz mushrooms chopped
  • 1 Yellow Onion chopped
  • 4 large tomatoes chopped
  • 1 bunch kale remove stems and rip into small pieces

Ricotta-Like Cashew Cheese Layer

  • 14 ounces extra firm tofu drained
  • 1 cup cashews presoaked if possible
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. onion powder
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1.5 tsp. sea salt

Other

  • 1 package lasagna sheets ready to bake
  • 1 cup favorite marinara sauce
  • 1 package vegan cheese shredded; can also make your own. See recipe notes.

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Whisk together the ingredients for spicy Thai sauce.
  • Chop eggplant, mushrooms and yellow onion. Use about 1/2 of the spicy Thai sauce to coat the vegetables. Bake on a baking sheet for about 30 minutes, stirring periodically. You don't want veggies overcooked, as they will return to the oven for the final bake.
  • Chop the tomatoes and kale and coat with about half of the remaining spicy Thai sauce and set aside. Use the remaining sauce to add a fresh coat to the eggplant, mushroom and onion once they are roasted.
  • Add all of the ingredients for the Ricotta-like cashew cheese layer to a blender or food processor. Blend until creamy and thick. Taste test: add more salt and/or pepper if you prefer. Add a bit of water if it's too thick, but it shouldn't be pourable. This is the base of the lasagna. Thick is good.
  • Pour a little marinara into the bottom of a 9x 13 baking dish. Place first layer of lasagna sheets down, and cover with the cashew cheese.
  • Place second layer of lasagna sheets over the cashew cheese. Lay out the marinated kale. Top with baked eggplant, mushrooms and onion. Press down by adding a third layer of lasagna sheets.
  • Spread a thin coat of marinara over the top layer of lasagna sheets. Add shredded vegan cheese. Bake until cheese is melted and gooey (about 20 minutes). Run a victory lap around the house. Remove from oven and serve!
  • Collect your trophy for Top Chef. Have someone else do the dishes.

Notes

Read more about the importance of soaking cashews.
If you have a small family and don't want such a large lasagna, use two smaller baking pans. Prepare both, but don't bake at the end. Cover and place in your freezer for later use.
If you want to make your own diary free cheese, here's my Vegan Mozzarella Cheese Sauce Recipe. It's thick, gooey and authentic flavor with no fake ingredients. 
 

Spicy Thai Lasagna

Spicy Thai Lasagna infuses a savory Italian dish with a burst of Indian flavor. The chili garlic and sriracha sauce marinate eggplant, mushroom, tomato and kale. A cooling cashew cream softens the heat—a perfect blend of yin and yang. This unique recipe is an absolute delight to the senses.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Indian, Italian
Servings 10

Ingredients
  

Spicy Thai Sauce

  • 1/2 cup tamari/Liquid Braggs/soy sauce of choice)
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 3 Tbsp. chili garlic sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. sriracha
  • 3 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. sesame oil optional

Veggie Layer

  • 2 Eggplant chopped into cubes
  • 8 oz mushrooms chopped
  • 1 Yellow Onion chopped
  • 4 large tomatoes chopped
  • 1 bunch kale remove stems and rip into small pieces

Ricotta-Like Cashew Cheese Layer

  • 14 ounces extra firm tofu drained
  • 1 cup cashews presoaked if possible
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. onion powder
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1.5 tsp. sea salt

Other

  • 1 package lasagna sheets ready to bake
  • 1 cup favorite marinara sauce
  • 1 package vegan cheese shredded; can also make your own. See recipe notes.

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Whisk together the ingredients for spicy Thai sauce.
  • Chop eggplant, mushrooms and yellow onion. Use about 1/2 of the spicy Thai sauce to coat the vegetables. Bake on a baking sheet for about 30 minutes, stirring periodically. You don't want veggies overcooked, as they will return to the oven for the final bake.
  • Chop the tomatoes and kale and coat with about half of the remaining spicy Thai sauce and set aside. Use the remaining sauce to add a fresh coat to the eggplant, mushroom and onion once they are roasted.
  • Add all of the ingredients for the Ricotta-like cashew cheese layer to a blender or food processor. Blend until creamy and thick. Taste test: add more salt and/or pepper if you prefer. Add a bit of water if it's too thick, but it shouldn't be pourable. This is the base of the lasagna. Thick is good.
  • Pour a little marinara into the bottom of a 9x 13 baking dish. Place first layer of lasagna sheets down, and cover with the cashew cheese.
  • Place second layer of lasagna sheets over the cashew cheese. Lay out the marinated kale. Top with baked eggplant, mushrooms and onion. Press down by adding a third layer of lasagna sheets.
  • Spread a thin coat of marinara over the top layer of lasagna sheets. Add shredded vegan cheese. Bake until cheese is melted and gooey (about 20 minutes). Run a victory lap around the house. Remove from oven and serve!
  • Collect your trophy for Top Chef. Have someone else do the dishes.

Notes

Read more about the importance of soaking cashews.
If you have a small family and don't want such a large lasagna, use two smaller baking pans. Prepare both, but don't bake at the end. Cover and place in your freezer for later use.
If you want to make your own diary free cheese, here's my Vegan Mozzarella Cheese Sauce Recipe. It's thick, gooey and authentic flavor with no fake ingredients. 
 

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