Hidden veg Mac’n’Cheese
Getting vegetables into fussy kids diets is a bit of a challenge. It however needn’t be a chore. We found that generally pasta sauces are an amazing way to hide vegetables.;-) With Mac’n’Cheese being a kids favourite of many kids, and adults alike, we thought we give it a try.
This hidden veg Mac’n’ Cheese recipe has a lot more going for it nutritionally compared to “regular” mac’n’ cheese and it is easily adapted to fit a vegan diet. You can even omit any sort of cheesy flavour as the vegetables already add a wonderful mild flavour and creamy texture.
- 500g dried maccaroni
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut in chunks
- 1/2 cauliflower, cut in florets
- 1 medium red onion, peeled and quartered
- 60g margarine
- 60g plain flour
- unsweetened, organic soy milk
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp garlic powder (try making your own roasted garlic powder)
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- salt and pepper
- cheese (optional)
- nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
- Bring a medium-sized saucepan to the boil. Add a generous helping of salt and the chopped carrot. After about five minutes add the cauliflower and onion and cook until soft. Using a slotted spoon put the veg on a plate to cool. Don’t throw away the leftover cooking water.
- In a large saucepan cook your pasta according to packet instructions.
- Once the vegetables have cooled, blend them in a high-speed blender (we use our smoothie maker) into a smooth, thick puree.
- Melt the margarine and add the flour. Stir continuously until the mix has turned a caramel colour.
- Turn down the heat and using a whisk, start adding soy milk and leftover veg water bit by bit, whisking continuously to ensure a creamy sauce without lumps.We usually go around half soy milk, half veg water. The amount you use will vary, about 2 cups soy milk and two cups of water as an over the thumb rule.
- When you are happy with the consistency add the garlic powder, turmeric and vegetable puree. Mix until well combined.
- Season to taste with salt, pepper and either cheese or, to keep it vegan, nutritional yeast.
- As a last step combine the pasta and sauce. You could now top it with bread crumbs and stick it in the oven, or just eat it as it is in all its creamy gorgeousness.
x V&S x