Delicious creamy dairy-free mac and cheese with greens you don’t even taste! Make food fun again in the best healthy way possible.
This recipe was originally published on 3/13/17
Getting veggies into your kids can make you want to pull your hair out, have you seen my bald spots? Thank goodness my brain cells are firing in extra sneaky mode, because this recipe is life changing!
I filled it with hidden veggies and packed it with spinach, but shhhh! Don’t tell the kids (or the husband)!
What is vegan mac and cheese made of?
I usually make my vegan mac and cheese with veggie based cheesy sauces (see this post, this post and this one for more delicious vegan mac and cheese sauces) but this I upped my game and made a fun colorful mac and cheese.
I love using whole foods to mimic all things creamy and cheesy. And don’t think this is a sham, because my vegan creamy sauce game is legit!
My base in this vegan mac and cheese is loads of veggies: cauliflower, potato and even spinach for that signature green look.
The timing is perfect for St. Patrick’s day, but let’s be clear, you should eat this ANY DAY. So many reasons why:
- hidden cauliflower
- packed with spinach but undetectable in taste
- fun and colorful
- easy to make with a quick zip in the trusty high speed blender (or regular blender when you grind the cashews or soak them well)
- perfectly festive for St. Patrick’s day, Easter or even Christmas
This one is so unsuspecting I almost feel bad…
How do I get my toddler to eat vegetables?
Let me start with saying, I think it’s very important to present your kids with veggies constantly. It takes over 25 times for a child to be exposed to something before they can decide if they like it or not.
So keep sharing new veggies and fruit and don’t despair! A few tips I like to live by:
- Always present a new veggie with another you know they like.
- Allow them to come shopping and pick out their own new veggie they’d like to try.
- Get your kids involved with cooking and meal prep so they feel in control
- Present the veggies in many ways, different shapes, placed different containers, and cooked with different techniques
- Use holidays to present themed food, name the meals too, this was a great fun dinner for St. Patrick’s Day! I told my kids that this was Leprechaun Mac and Cheese. The only snafu was when they looked wide eyed at me and asked if I made it with actual leprechauns, so I had to think fast and assure them it was purely four leaf clovers. Phew. Crisis averted.
- Have wine stocked near by, it’s always a good back up for you
Because the reality is that most of us will constantly be enduring veggie meltdowns, I also advocate to sneak in veggies everywhere you can. Which is why I created this green dairy-free mac and cheese.
It’s packed full of healthy ingredients, so when the meltdowns happen, I can walk away without a full hostage negotiation.
How do I make green dairy-free mac and cheese?
It’s simple! Don’t you love it when healthy food isn’t this complicated process?
- Cook the veggies and blend them with the sauce ingredients.
- Add the sauce to your favorite pasta and mix!
Delicious creamy dairy-free mac and cheese with greens you don't even taste! Make food fun again in the best healthy way possible.
- 1 cup cauliflower , chopped (about ¼ of a head)
- 1 cup cooked potato , about 1 medium potato
- ¼ of a medium onion
- 1 cup fresh spinach
- 1 clove garlic , medium size
- ¾ cup raw cashews (see note)
- ½ cup unsweetened cashew or almond milk , I use Silk brand
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon mustard seed powder
- 16 ounces your favorite pasta
Preheat oven to 450 F/ 230 C
- Chop cauliflower and sprinkle with a bit of broth or oil. Spread out on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes until slightly crisp.
- Meanwhile, cook potato and onion by boiling until soft.
Once cauliflower, potato and onion are done, put them in a high speed blender with all other ingredients, except pasta, and blend until smooth.
Cook your favorite pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse, then return to pot.
Pour sauce over pasta and mix over low heat until thick and gooey. Serve!
- Sauce makes about 3 cups.
- The best method to cook the potato is by boiling it with the onion. See instructions.
- If you are not using a high speed blender you can either soak the cashews overnight, boil them with the potato and onion or grind them into a fine powder using a coffee grinder.
Tips to prep ahead
- Cook cauliflower, potato, onion and cashews.
Baby/toddler food idea
- Best kid food ever. Overcook pasta for young baby and mash well.