Mac and Cheese: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free

comfort food dairy free gluten free southern cooking spleen warming vegan

Conventional macaroni and cheese is delicious but it isn't usually a good choice. The dairy in it creates internal dampness and the processed wheat creates stagnation and often inflammation. Combined these two factors are very hard on the spleen and stomach. Over time this can result in reduced nutrient absorption. Our recipe isn't only a tasty alternative which avoids this problem, it has ingredients that help resolve it.

Traditional Chinese Medicine Properties: Warming thermal nature, supports spleen and stomach, supports blood circulation to digestive tract, supports healthy nutrient absorption, helps reduce dampness.

This recipe takes a little work but the results are worth it. It needs a couple of specialty ingredients; nutrional yeast flakes and dijon mustard. Dijon is easy to find but sometimes I can only find nutrional yeast in the bulk section at Whole Foods. The butternut squash in this recipe can roasted ahead of time and added to the saute pan just long enough to get it hot, before everything goes in the blender. The instructions are for raw squash, but raw butternut squash is a pain to peel so you can consider using canned pumpkin if you prefer. Regarding the pasta, pick a gluten-free pasta that you like, just be sure to check the pasta often as you boil it. Rice-based pastas tend to take longer than wheat, and quinoa and corn seem to go really fast and fall apart easily. In my experience all brands are different testing a noodle every couple of minutes is the way to go.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small butternut squash, roasted or fresh and cubed
  • I small head cauliflower, cut into florets,
  • 2 cups chicken broth (substitute vegetable broth for vegan)
  • 1 ½ tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¾ tsp. dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 16 ounces gluten-free pasta of choice
INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. In a medium saucepan with lid, put oil over medium heat.
  2. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions start to soften.
  3. Add garlic, stir and cook another 30 seconds to a minute or until garlic is fragrant.
  4. Add squash, cauliflower and broth and bring to a steady simmer.
  5. Once simmering, cover pan with lid and cook until vegetables are very tender, about 15-18 minutes. You may need to lower the heat to maintain a steady simmer and prevent it from boiling.
  6. In the meantime, cook your pasta, drain and stir in a little olive oil to prevent it from clumping.
  7. When veggies are very tender, transfer to a blender. Add remaining ingredients and blend until very smooth.
  8. Taste and adjust seasoning before pouring over cooked pasta.

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