Zero Food Waste Vegan Mac & Cheese

I've been thinking a lot about how best to reuse almond pulp in a more savory dish, and immediately I thought about drying out the pulp to use as a substitute for breadcrumbs!!! And what do I love breadcrumbs on? Mac and cheese, obvi! 

This recipe is super easy to make, and contrary to its name is gluten-free and vegan! Packed with protein and fiber, this dish is satisying to its core! I also love making macaroni casserole because it's super easy to add in greens without even tasting it!

So without further ado, vegan mac & cheese! Enjoy!

Ingredients:

- 10 ounces dried GF macaroni OR Quinoa 

- ¼ cup peeled/diced carrots

- ⅓ cup chopped onion

- ¾ cup water (preferably use liquid from pot of boiled veggies)

- ½ cup raw or salted cashews

- ¼ cup homemade almond milk

- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes

- ¾ to 1 teaspoon salt (or more to taste) ¼ teaspoon garlic powder

- Optional: ½ cup dried almond pulp mixed with paprika & salt for crust. To make dried pulp, bake almond pulp at 200 degrees for 60-90 minutes, sprinkled with paprika and sea salt. Think of them as gluten-free breadcrumbs!

DIRECTIONS:

- Cook macaroni al dente, according to package instructions (usually requires boiling for 6-8 minutes in salted water), drain, and set aside.

- Bring several cups of water to boil in a small pot. Place chopped carrots, and onion in the boiling water, and cook for about 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender and soft enough to blend. Cooking time will vary slightly, based on how small you have chopped your veggies.

- When veggies are soft enough to blend, use a slotted spoon to remove them from cooking water, and place them in your blender.

- Add ¾ cup of that cooking water to your blender, along with your remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth.

- Pour sauce over your cooked macaroni noodles in a dish of your choice, taste for salt, and serve immediately. Or, place macaroni mixture in a baking dish, sprinkle with almond pulp, and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes, or until crumbs are turning golden brown. I love adding spinach to the mix to add extra greens!