Mac n Cheez Please!!

Who does not love a delicious bowl of mac and cheese?!?  Over the vegan years, we have tried many versions of mac and mac&cheezcheese and this one has recently been named the favorite.  Who knows how long it will stay in the top spot, but I for one am thrilled that it fits the bill for comfort food AND includes the amazing sweet potato.  You’ll be impressed with the beautiful color of this mac and cheez!!

Read further below for the meals we enjoyed last week.  The meals came together really quickly after prepping on Sunday.

Orange Cheez

1/2 c cashew pieces

1 medium/large sweet potato, baked and peeled

2 T fresh lemon juice

2 cloves garlic

1 t salt

1 T nutritional yeast

1 c water (then up to 1 more cup, depending on size of potato and desired consistency)

If you have a high powered blender, such as a VitaMix or BlendTec, combine all ingredients and puree until super smooth.  Additional water should be added as needed to reach the desired consistency.

If you do not have a high powered blender, soak the cashew pieces in water in the fridge overnight (or microwave in water for 30 seconds), then add everything to your blender or food processor and blend until very smooth.  Additional water should be added as needed to reach the desired consistency.

At this point, you can use the orange cheez or refrigerate it until you are ready to use it.

If making macaroni and cheese, for example, remove the orange cheez from the refrigerator when you start boiling 16 oz of macaroni.  When the macaroni is cooked, quickly drain it, leaving some water in the pot.  Add the orange cheez and stir well to combine.

Note: The best way to store the orange cheez is in the fridge before adding it to pasta.  Once the orange cheez is combined with the pasta and refrigerated, it doesn’t reheat as well.

Meals for the week:

Mac n Orange Cheez with broccoli (as a side or tossed in with the mac n cheez)

  • Bake enough sweet potatoes for mac n cheez and sweet potato pies
  • Make the orange cheez in advance

Fig Pecan Squash Casserole with wild rice and spinach

  • Cook the squash as directed here then
  • Assemble the casserole in advance
  • Bake the casserole while making the wild rice and spinach

Baked Bean Chili

  • If you cut the onion and peppers in advance and freeze, you can throw this recipe together in the crockpot in 5 minutes- perfect to work in while making lunches.

Rice Bowls

  • This is usually a leftover-like night for us, combining canned beans (or leftover chili) and whatever veggies are left in the fridge.  However rice bowls sounds much better than “leftovers”.

Sloppy Lennys

  • I always make a big batch of these and freeze half, so all I had to do here was defrost and reheat.  If you’re not in the same situation, making the dish or at least cook the lentils in advance (or use canned) helps get this on the table quickly.

And for dessert one night,

Sweet Potato Pies

  • Make the filling in advance