Comfort food can also be health food. Our satisfying twist on this classic dish infuses the flavour of authentic, pine-smoked LAPSANG SOUCHONG TEA into the recipe, giving it a hearty, savoury taste.
The secret behind the creamy sauce is cashews—which are rich in healthy fats, vitamins & minerals. Nutritional yeast lends the sauce its cheesy flavour & further enhances its nutrient profile as it contains many essential nutrients, including B vitamins (important for stress management), protein & trace minerals.
Serve this dish along with steamed greens for a quick weekday meal. You can also mix in lightly steamed broccoli or cauliflower. Leftovers with this dish are amazing the next day: pan-fry it, or bake it in the oven for an easy lunch.
There are many great varieties of gluten-free pasta available nowadays—we love brown rice macaroni in this dish, but try it with your favourite.
SMOKY MAC & CHEESE
dairy-free, vegan, gluten-free
makes 6 portions
1 tablespoon LAPSANG SOUCHONG tea
2 cups boiling water
1½ cups raw, unsalted cashews
½ cup nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce or tamari
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
3 cups of gluten-free macaroni
optional: freshly ground black pepper, paprika & or/chili or cayenne powder
- Pour 1 cup of boiling water over cashews in a heat-proof container & set aside. Steep tea in the remaining cup of boiling water for 5 minutes, & then strain. LAPSANG SOUCHONG is a black tea, so it does contain caffeine. If you prefer to minimize the caffeine level in this tea, you can cold brew instead, which significantly reduces the amount of caffeine released from any type of tea. Learn how to make cold brew tea here. Note that if you choose the cold brew method, you will have to steep your tea for several hours before making the recipe.
- Cook pasta to al dente, according to package instructions.
- While pasta is cooking, combine nutritional yeast, soy sauce/tamari, salt & turmeric in a high-speed blender or food processor to create the “cheese” sauce. Measure out ¾ of a cup of the brewed tea & add to blender. Drain cashews thoroughly & add to blender. Process on high until a thick, creamy sauce is formed. If the mixture is too dry, you can add a bit more tea if you would like an even more smoky flavour, or just plain water, until you reach desired consistency. Taste the mixture & add more salt or soy sauce/tamari if desired.
- Gently stir sauce into the hot, drained pasta. To add some heat, garnish with freshly ground black pepper, paprika, cayenne or chili powder.