Penne and Potato-Cheeze

For Veganuary, I want to share a recipe of mine that we eat sometimes for dinner. It’s a mock mac and cheese, but tastier and better for you! We actually like this version better than real mac and cheese. The best part is that you can have as much as you’d like without having to worry about the unhealthy consequences of a normal mac and cheese. We like to pair the dish with steamed broccoli to get more nutrition out of the meal, but also because the combo is just delicious!

On cheese…

We don’t like to eat faux cheese, especially ones that are not heart healthy found in the stores made up of saturated fat and oils. Gourmet ones made from nuts are better, but we still don’t eat them at home. If we go out and faux cheese is on a dish, sure we might have some. With that said, there is an alternative on how to make things cheesy by using nutritional yeast. For this recipe we did just that by adding the yeast to potatoes — and it works wonderfully!

Besides being tasty and low-fat, this recipe is free of oils and cholesterol. It is also loaded with a bunch of B vitamins and protein from nutritional yeast. And there is a decent amount of vitamins and minerals from the potatoes as well. Potatoes get a bad rap, but they really are healthy and nutritious if you eat them whole without frying them.

The potato-cheeze recipe makes more than 2 servings, maybe 3. It depends how much sauce you like on your pasta, but it’s plenty for us, with some leftover. I created the recipe at Cronometer to show just how much nutrition you get from the potato-cheeze recipe.

NOTE: Cronometer is a great site where you can enter just about any food and retrieve nutritional data on it.

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This is the full recipe, but it serves 2-3. Also, I left the spices out. This is purely to show the nutritional content of the potatoes and nutritional yeast.

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Now onto the recipe…

Feel free to use elbow noodles if you’d like. For some reason we like penne better for this dish.

Ingredients
brown rice penne, shells or elbow brown rice noodles
2 potatoes
4 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
juice of half a lemon

1. Peel and chop potatoes. Cook until soft and falling apart.

2. While the potatoes are cooking, cook the pasta.

3. Drain potatoes and pour into Vitamix blender, or any other high-speed blend. Add lemon juice, nutritional yeast, salt and black pepper.

NOTE: If you don’t have a high-speed blender, you will need to gingerly add non-dairy milk to the potatoes when blending to move it until it blends smoothly. Be careful not to add too much liquid as you don’t want it to be thin and runny.

4. Blend on high until smooth and creamy, like Velveeta. Use the tamper for the Vitamix to get it to move and blend.

5. At this point your pasta should be done and drained. Pour the sauce over noodles and enjoy with steamed broccoli, or by itself!

Making the potato-cheeze sauce may be a little tricky at first, but the key is to remember that the outcome should be smooth, thick and creamy, not thin and runny.

If you should make this, I hope you enjoy!

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