Ah Monday, a fresh start to a new week with many possibilities … right? Well, that’s what I keep telling myself. It was a day of scramble at work with half our team either out sick or on vacation, but time does fly like that. I’m also not feeling 100% with a little post-nasal drip again causing a scratchy throat and not-so-happy stomach. I hate that because even though I feel bloated, I have a monster appetite to fill my stomach with good stuff to offset the drainage run-off – pleasant imagery, huh? Hopefully just a temporary thing while we’re going through a weather change.
Feeling a little off, I have slight craving to indulge in a comfort food, but also a drive to maintain a clean, raw diet. I did some looking for a greasy comfort recipe for this cold evening and Paula Deen’s Tomato Mac and Cheese seems to scream guilt-ridden comfort. But who says comfort food can’t be good for you too? What I love about the Vita-Mix is it can blend fresh produce and spices into a creamy sauce that deceivingly tastes much more naughty that it actually is. I am such a fan of nut, seed and veggie based vegan cheese alternatives, they seem to have so much more flavor and a texture pretty close to actual cheese. Then again, who says they need to mimic cheese products, vegans probably aren’t looking to fool themselves that they’re eating an animal product. Really they’re in another class of better tasting sauces to me, sauces that I can tweak with as much spicing as I’m feeling.
Another thing I’ve found is I really do not miss pasta and I had an interesting talk with my mom about that today too. Pasta by itself is not good to me, it takes a lot of sauce, oil, seasoning, etc. to get it to good and since kicking gluten, I’ve discovered that there are many alternatives that can taste just as good. However, many guys I talk to, including my hubby, say pasta rocks and specifically the white flour kind, there is no substitute. Must be a guy thing.
Anyway, I combed over Paula’s recipe and truthfully found it a little bland, like I’d need to sprinkle some hot sauce and/or pepper flakes on it. But I like the idea of mixing tomatoes with mac and cheese. The few raw recipes I’ve seen for mac and cheese seemed to be in the same junky class as traditional mac and cheese, the Cafe Gratitude recipe uses daikon noodles and a lot of pureed macadamia nuts to hit the creamy texture, and I mean a lot per serving, making it equally decadent while not offering much in the nutrient department to me and lacking in the spice kick. I guess it’s more a recipe for younger raw foodies. Anyway, I set out to make healthy, satisfying raw mac and cheese with a kick. Sound good?
Feisty Raw Creamy Mac with Tomatoes
For the Noodles
- 3-4 medium turnips, spiral cut
- 3 roma tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions
- 1/2 tsp. salt
Mix ingredients in large bowl, massaging the oil thoroughly into the turnip noodles. Place bowl in dehydrator and warm at 115 degrees while sauce is prepared.
- 4 tbsp. water
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1/2 red bell pepper
- 1 med zucchini, chopped
- 1/2 cup hemp seeds
- 2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tbsp. chili powder
- 1 tbsp. tamari
- 1/4 pink salt
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1/8 tsp. turmeric
Blend all ingredients in blender to a smooth texture, mix sauce in bowl with noodles, tomatoes and onions and continue warming in dehydrator for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then enjoy! Makes two large servings or four small side servings.
What I like about this recipe it’s an all-in-one main dish recipe with many satisfying personalities to it, kind of like a fully loaded pizza, but not like it. :-) If all of Tara’s personalities from United States of Tara created a raw vegan recipe, this might be it. I liked the crunch and texture of the turnip noodles, but my husband had mixed feelings about it. For softer noodles, maybe use eggplant or zucchini in place of the turnip noodles. Overall, I really liked the recipe, especially that it was saturated in a punchy, flavorful sauce. A definite raw comfort meal!