3 PEPPER VEGAN MAC AND CHEESE

3 Pepper Vegan Mac and Cheese | EatStyleCreate.com

And we’re back to our week of spicy pepper recipes.

The first recipe we looked at was Ultimate California Toast, which had serrano pepper cream cheese. Today we’re stepping it up a few notches and working with THREE peppers in this 3 Pepper Vegan Mac and Cheese.

This isn’t your everyday mac and cheese…and for a couple reasons.

  1. There isn’t any cheese in this “mac and cheese” hmmmm….
  2. There is more spice than you’d typically find in mac and cheese.

If you’ve never tried vegan mac and cheese and love a little spice, then this recipe is for you.

So how do we get cheese without the cheese?

Well, from cashew sauce of course.

3 Pepper Vegan Mac and Cheese | EatStyleCreate.com

You are going to soak cashews and combine them with veggies, spices and nutritional yeast to get this creamy sauce.

Weird concept, but it totally works.

I do have to warn any cashew sauce first timers…this sauce is awesome. It tastes really good. But it isn’t going to taste exactly like real cheese sauce. It is pretty darn close, but not 100%.

And in my book…that’s ok. I don’t think that vegan recipes have to taste exactly like their dairy counterpart. But if they taste good, that’s all that matters.

3 Pepper Vegan Mac and Cheese | EatStyleCreate.com

The peppers we are going to use are the serrano (which we talked about here), the jalapeño and canned green chilies (which are usually anaheim chilies). A good mixture of flavors and spice levels.

The first thing you need to do is soak your cashews. This helps them blend better later on.

After they have soaked for at least 4 hours, you will combine your cashews, onion, garlic, peppers, spices, nutritional yeast and broth in a blender. Blend up until you have a creamy sauce.

3 Pepper Vegan Mac and Cheese | EatStyleCreate.com

Add the sauce to your pasta and top with additional peppers, cilantro and some caramelized onions.

And there you have it. Three pepper vegan mac and cheese.

Simple.

Tasty.

Done.

Have you ever had vegan mac and cheese? What is your favorite way to make it?

–Rene

3 PEPPER VEGAN MAC AND CHEESE
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsalted cashews
  • 12 oz. dry pasta shells
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil, separated
  • 3/4 large white onion, separated, diced
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 jalapeño, diced
  • 2 serrano peppers, diced
  • 1 4 oz. can green chilies, separated
  • 2-3 tbsp. nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp. corn starch
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • cilantro (optional)
  • additional jalapeños + serranos (optional)
Instructions
  1. Soak cashews in water for 4+ hours. Drain and set aside.
  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package instructions.
  3. While pasta is cooking, put a pan on the stove over medium low heat. Add 1/2 tbsp. olive oil to the pan. Once heated, add 1/2 of the onion and the garlic. Add salt and pepper, and cook until soft – about 10 minutes. Set aside.
  4. Add remaining 1/2 tbsp. olive oil to the pan and add serrano and jalapeño peppers. Sauté for 5 minutes (or until peppers soften). Set aside.
  5. Place pan back on the stove and add remaining uncooked onions. Cook on medium low for 5-10 minutes* Set aside.
  6. Add cashews, cooked onion (excluding the 1/4 onion you just caramelized), garlic, jalapeños, serranos, 1/2 can green chilies, nutritional yeast, cayenne pepper, chili powder, cumin, vegetable broth and corn starch to a blender. Blend on high for 60 seconds (or until sauce is creamy and smooth).
  7. Drain pasta and set aside.
  8. Add sauce back to the pasta pan and cook on low until it begins to thicken – about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and remaining 1/2 can of green chilies. Add pasta back to the pan and stir to combine.
  9. Serve immediately with cilantro, additional peppers and caramelized onions on top.
  10. Enjoy!
Notes
*Since you aren’t adding any oil, you will want to add water to the pan when the onions dry out – 1 tbsp. at a time until the onions are soft and brown.

*Recipe inspired by Minimalist Baker’s Vegan Green Chili Mac n Cheese.

3 Pepper Vegan Mac and Cheese | EatStyleCreate.com

GRILLED ZUCCHINI + BALSAMIC TOMATO PASTA SALAD

Grilled Zucchini and Balsamic Tomato Pasta Salad | EatStyleCreate.com

Last week I posted my Red Wine Vinaigrette recipe and I promised I would share my favorite pasta salad to use it with. And here it is…Grilled Zucchini and Balsamic Tomato Pasta Salad.

This is my go-to weekend meal during the summer. It makes a huge batch and is something easy and healthy to munch on all weekend. I find myself dipping into the kitchen to grab bites all day.

Continue reading GRILLED ZUCCHINI + BALSAMIC TOMATO PASTA SALAD

SIMPLE AND CREAMY PESTO PASTA

Simple and Creamy Pesto Pasta | EatStyleCreate.com

Just when you thought I couldn’t share any more pesto recipes with you…I’m back at it again.

This Simple and Creamy Pesto Pasta comes together in about 15 minutes and only requires 4 ingredients. Doesn’t get easier than that.

Simple and Creamy Pesto Pasta | EatStyleCreate.com

You may be surprised to hear where the cream comes from in this recipe. And once I tell you, I don’t want it to deter you from making this, because I swear it is so good.

Mayo.

I know it sounds weird, but just go with me on this one. I am NOT a big mayo fan, so believe me when I say it only adds great flavor.

Simple and Creamy Pesto Pasta | EatStyleCreate.com

This is also a perfect recipe for when you have leftover pesto. Make it yourself or use your favorite store bought brand. If you’re looking for a new recipe to try you can check out my Arugula Basil Pesto or Walnut Basil Pesto.

Happy pesto everyone 🙂

–Rene

SIMPLE AND CREAMY PESTO PASTA
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2-3
Ingredients
  • 8 oz. dry farfalle pasta
  • 1/4 cup prepared pesto
  • 3 tbsp. mayo
  • 1/4 cup pecorino romano
Instructions
  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package instructions.
  2. Drain pasta and add pesto and cooked pasta back to the pot. Stir to combine.
  3. Add pecorino romano and stir to combine.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

Simple and Creamy Pesto Pasta | EatStyleCreate.com

Simple and Creamy Pesto Pasta | EatStyleCreate.com

TRUFFLED MAC AND CHEESE

Truffled Mac and Cheese | EatStyleCreate.com

This Truffled Mac and Cheese is about to take your mac and cheese game to a whole new level.

Ever since I sampled the Trader Joe’s truffle cheddar while grocery shopping, I have been in love. It is soooooooo good. Eating it on its own or even on a cracker is to die. But what better way to enjoy your favorite cheese than with melted butter and bread crumbs and pasta?

Continue reading TRUFFLED MAC AND CHEESE

SPICY ASIAN NOODLE SOUP

Spicy Asian Noodle Soup | EatStyleCreate.com

Even though the cold weather is coming to an end here in San Diego I can eat a bowl of hot soup any time of year. Literally…middle of summer…I have no problem throwing together a batch of soup.

And this Spicy Asian Noodle Soup is no exception.

Plus, this soup is so easy to put together. Cut up some veggies, simmer them in beef broth with some spices, and add noodles at the end to finish it up. Easy, right?

Continue reading SPICY ASIAN NOODLE SOUP

LEMON PARMESAN PASTA

Lemon Parmesan Pasta | EatStyleCreate.comI don’t know about you, but when I first started cooking I ate A LOT of pasta. And as simple as pasta is, I made a few nasty tasting meals along the way.

But there was always one pasta dish that was impossible to mess up. And this Lemon Parmesan Pasta is it.

Lemon Parmesan Pasta | EatStyleCreate.com

Well, in reality, this is a little more elevated then what I made in college. I definitely wasn’t buying freshly grated cheese for my pasta – can you say Sargento? Actually, I wouldn’t even buy name brand – can you say Kroger brand? Oh…the good ‘ol days.

Lemon Parmesan Pasta | EatStyleCreate.comThis simple recipe takes just 20 minutes and is super satisfying and light. You can serve this as a main dish or make a protein and veggie to go with it and serve it as a side. I personally could eat this right out of the pan – no shame in my game.

Lemon Parmesan Pasta | EatStyleCreate.com

Lemon Parmesan Pasta | EatStyleCreate.com

Do you have any college day cooking horror stories? Cooking definitely takes time and everyone has some duds along the way. I think it’s inevitable.

–Rene

LEMON PARMESAN PASTA
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 8 oz. dry spaghetti
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • red pepper flakes (to taste)
  • pepper (to taste)
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 tbsp. salted butter
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • fresh parsley, diced (to taste)
Instructions
  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook spaghetti according to package instructions.
  2. Drain cooked spaghetti and heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat.
  3. Add garlic, red pepper flakes and pepper to pan, and cook until garlic is fragrant, stirring frequently.
  4. Add lemon juice and zest to the pan, followed by butter and cook until melted.
  5. Mix in spaghetti and remove from heat. Add parmesan and stir to combine. Serve spaghetti and top with parsley.
Lemon Parmesan Pasta | EatStyleCreate.com

 

CREAMY ORECCHIETTE WITH ASPARAGUS AND PROSCIUTTO

Creamy Orecchiette with Asparagus and Prosciutto | EatStyleCreate.com

Creamy Orecchiette with Asparagus and Prosciutto. Now that’s a mouth full – saying it AND eating it.

The name really says it all though.

This pasta is creamy, salty and just plain good. The flavors are simple and complex at the same time. I don’t know if that makes sense to you, but when you taste it you’ll understand.

I think the ingredients in this are relatively plain, but when you combine them you get amazing-ness in a bowl.

Continue reading CREAMY ORECCHIETTE WITH ASPARAGUS AND PROSCIUTTO

PAD THAI VEGGIE SALAD WITH SPICY PEANUT SAUCE

Pad Thai Veggie Salad with Spicy Peanut Sauce | EatStyleCreate.com

Sometimes in life you just need a good salad. And this Pad Thai Veggie Salad with Spicy Peanut Sauce always hits the spot for me.

Did I mention the spicy peanut sauce? I could eat this sauce with a spoon! But I guess I feel a little bit better about eating it when there are a ton of veggies to go with it.

Continue reading PAD THAI VEGGIE SALAD WITH SPICY PEANUT SAUCE