Back in our early college days, when food trucks first hit the Washington, DC scene, Andrew and I had big pipe dreams of joining the bandwagon, opening a macaroni cart –aptly christened Mac N’ On My Cheese. Andrew, the devout since birth macaroni-consumer of the powdered neon orange variety, me, the reformed vegan, in retrospect we were more attached to the name than the actual business. That sort of dad joke gone puny we couldn’t help but ramble off with a tiny high-hat drumroll and a too-big smile. With food service and kitchen skills then limited to the occasional and dramatic knife sharpening, our ignition waned almost as quickly as the fad. Fast forwarding over half a decade, that life-long love of creamy dreamy Mac N’ Cheese has never truly faded, us (me) forever attached to the coziness and comfort of the infamous, gooey Mac, that melty sauce, that belly filling goodness.
Taking our traditional conceptions of Macaroni and elevating them to new unprocessed, healthful, and autumnally seasonal heights, today I couldn’t be more excited to share my Creamy Pumpkin Mac N’ Cashew Cheese. Redefining cheesy, this simple vegan Mac is made with a silky and rich cashew sauce base, packed to the brim with B-vitamin and protein rich nutritional yeast, basil and sage, and my secret ingredient, Sir Kensington’s Dijon mustard. Providing that subtle, but necessary hint of vinegar brightness, Sir Kensington’s Dijon, along with their complete line of mustards, ketchups and mayonnaises, are all natural and non-GMO verified. Paired with the warmth of cinnamon and nutmeg and the natural sweetness of the aptly neon orange pumpkin, say hello to not-so-stick-to-your ribs comfort. The perfect big-batch meal, I prepare my Mac on Sunday evenings to keep handy over the busy work-week, always utilizing whole wheat, quinoa, or brown rice based fusilli pasta to get as much sauce in and around each noodle as humanly possible.
Lucky for all of us, Sir Kensington’s is available nation wide at Whole Foods Market and on their website; for free shipping on all orders, be sure to use the coupon code ‘DIJON’ at checkout. Sir Kensington’s is also one of this years vendors at Washington, DC’s The EmporiYUM, a two day one-of-a-kind marketplace and early holiday shopping opportunity November 14th-November 15th, 2015. Featuring vegan-accessible products, restaurants, treats, and gift options from around the US, Sir Kensington’s will be exhibiting many of their condiments for purchase. We can’t wait to see you there!
Creamy Pumpkin Mac N’ Cashew Cheese [makes 8 servings]
because Mac tends to get a bit drier with time, when reheating leftovers, place servings in medium pot with ¼ cup vegetable stock per serving (adding a a bit more if necessary), then bring to desired temperature!
1 cup raw cashews
2 cups vegetable broth, divided
½ cup nutritional yeast
¼ cup fresh basil
10 leaves fresh sage
1 tablespoon Sir Kensington’s Dijon Mustard
juice of half a lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
salt & pepper to taste
1 pound whole wheat fusilli pasta, cooked
In a medium bowl, cover raw cashews with warm water. Allow cashew to sit for a minimum of 60 minutes. Drain.
In a high speed blender, or food processor fitted with an S-blade, blend now soaked cashews with 1 cup vegetable broth, nutritional yeast, basil, sage, Dijon mustard, and lemon juice until very smooth. Set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat until just hot. Stir in garlic, tomato, cinnamon and nutmeg until just fragrant (about 1 minute), and then add pumpkin, remaining 1 cup vegetable broth, and cashew mixture. Season to taste, and then allow sauce to simmer and thicken for 10 minutes.
Stir in cooked pasta, return to desired temperature, serve and enjoy!
Nutritional Information [per serving]
335 Calories, 9.5g Fat, 47g Carbohydrates, 7g Fiber, 4g Sugar, 14g Protein
Thank you Sir Kensington’s for sponsoring this post, and thank you for reading!