Asian “Mac & Cheese”

This dish is DELICIOUS . . . but not perfect yet. I’m going to have to play around with it a bit to get the texture right on the cheezy sauce. But the taste is outta control delicious, which comes in part from Chinese and Indian influences!

After going to Indian food two weeks ago, I picked up some goodies at the attached Indian grocer. One of the ingredients I bought is called “simmer sauce,” and it looks absolutely divine. It’s ingredients include: cashews, onion, coriander, red chili, sea salt, coconut milk powder, garlic, turmeric, ginger, rice, green chili, green cardamom, safflower oil, pistachio, clove, bay leaf, black pepper, fennel, cumin, mace, and saffron.

I promised you  this recipe for today, so I’ll give it to you! Just realize that soon, I will redo it. And it will be even better!

 Asian “Mac & Cheese” 

1 package of your favorite macaroni pasta shape
1 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
3/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 1/2 oz tofu (about 1/4 of a block)
1 cup almond milk
2 garlic cloves
1 tbls earth balance
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp turmeric (for color)
1 tsp miso
1 tsp simmer sauce (substitute any combination of the above list)

1. Cook pasta according to package instructions. I usually put some olive oil into my water to keep the pasta from sticking.

2. In a food processor, blend cashews, sunflowers, tofu, almond milk, nutritional yeast, and earth balance until smooth.

3. Combine the sauce and pasta. If you don’t want to do a baked dish, heat on the stove on medium heat until warmed throughout. Enjoy!

4. If, however, you want to bake it . . . preheat that oven to 375, place the macaroni in a dish, and top with Daiya Cheese and homemade croutons*!

5. Bake at 375 for twenty minutes.

6. Devour quickly.

Homemade croutons:
Cube 2 slices whole wheat bread.
Spray with olive oil.
Sprinkle with salt, garlic powder, and dill.
Broil in oven on high until toasted.

I’m excited to remake this soon! I have some ideas to make it even more creamy and delicious, and to make those flavors really pop! And, even though it isn’t perfect in my mind, I did have a friend tell me at the meal yesterday, “It isn’t mac and cheese, but I think I like it better than mac and cheese!”

Mission, accomplished.

What is your favorite pasta dish?

 

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Pit Stop Mondays

Happy Monday! What a great weekend. Saturday, I worked on a community garden, went for a run, went contra dancing and then to a party for more dancing! While I didn’t get a lot of sleep, I had fun. Gardening+dancing=best exercise EVER! Especially contra. I didn’t realize how physically active it was, but after a few dances I was sweating quite a bit.

Photo: Sean Green

Photo: Sean Green

Then, last night, I cooked several Oh She Glows  recipes with friends for a community dinner: red quinoa black bean salad and itty bitty carrot cake cookies. We also had garlic bread with earth balance and a huge salad with baby greens, apples, and other goodies. It was deliciously successful.

 

And on to a new feature, which I’m going to call Pit Stop Mondays on my pilgrimage to health. Based loosely on the happiness project, I plan to chronicle mini, one week endeavors intended to improve my emotional, physical, and spiritual health. They’ll serve as check-in points along the route. I have several in mind, involving finances, gratitude, activity, nutrition, and spiritual nourishment. I’m excited!

First on the agenda this week: No negative self talk or comparison to other people, including the person I once was. I talked about  this in my last post , and this week I am making a conscientious effort and refusing to compare myself. It’s been difficult all day. Now that I’m more aware of it, I notice how often I do compare myself with other people–it is an almost hourly occurance. Instead of being critical of those aspects of myself I don’t like, I use every temptation to compare to remind myself that I am beautiful and unique, and my body is healthy and strong.

How do you bite self-criticism in the butt? What did you do this past weekend for your health?