Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Low-Fat & Vegan Mac & Cheese With Sundried Tomatoes, Kale and Zucchini

Last weekend Adam and I had a lovely dinner with some of his colleagues.  The hosts are foodies and put out an incredible spread that included all sorts of antipasti and cheeses to start, as well as fois gras (Adam and I skipped this course), and then roast chicken, peas and cauliflower, and an amazing rice pilaf with figs that I am going to have to try and recreate.  There was chocolate, more cheese, cake, lemon ice, and fresh fruit for dessert.  They also had EVERY kind of alcohol on hand, including the best champagne I've ever tasted.  I was good and had 2 glasses of champagne and then quit, despite being offered wine, liquor, and other drinks.

One of the guests indulged in everything except anything involving vegetables.  He explained - while his wife rolled her eyes - that he doesn't eat ANYTHING green.  "Sheesh, you'd HATE my cooking!" I laughed.  It's true.  I can't really make anything without finding a way to toss in as much vegetable matter as possible.  But I do this for 2 reasons.  One, vegetables are good for you and generally increase the nutritional content and decrease the caloric content of meals, and two, I love veggies! 

So anyway, all this to say, that this is one of my typical recipe adaptations.  I often make Angela's Butternut Mac & Cheese, but sub cauliflower for the squash and it's a favorite of both Adam and I, however, when I came across this one from Susan on Fat Free Vegan, I knew I had to try it.  In my own way, of course.  What appealed to me is that it doesn't require a food processor, which means less to clean, and it's lighter because it uses just 2 tbls of tahini, rather than a large quantity of cashews.  Then I fiddled around with the seasoning a bit, and added sundried tomatoes, sauteed kale, and roasted zucchini.  I was very pleased with the results and so was Adam.  This is definitely going to be a staple around here.   Perfect, healthy comfort food to keep us going through the winter!

Other veggies that would be great are green peas, spinach, roasted red peppers, roasted tomatoes, or even brussels sprouts.

Low-Fat and Vegan Mac & Cheese With Sundried Tomatoes, Kale and Zucchini (Adapted from this recipe)

1 lb whole grain short pasta

946ml carton, unsweetened, organic soy milk
3/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tbls lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp prepared dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tbls tahini
Pinch cayenne
2 tbls corn or arrowroot starch
2 tsp miso

Bunch kale, washed and torn into pieces
4-6 small zucchini, cut into thirds, and then each third, cut lengthwise into quarters
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup julienned sundried tomatoes, not packed in oil

Toss zucchini with vinegar, seasoning and garlic.  Place on foil-lined baking sheet and roast at 350F for about 30-40 minutes.

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Place 2 cups soy milk in a saucepan, set over medium heat, along with everything except starch and miso.   Whisk together and bring to a boil.  Meanwhile, whisk together remaining soy milk and starch.  Add to pot and whisk until sauce thickens.  Turn off heat and whisk in miso.

In a hot skillet, saute kale along with sundried tomatoes.  Add roasted zucchini and hot pasta.  Toss with desired amount of sauce.  Makes 4 servings.

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