We’re less than a week out from the Bank of America Chicago Marathon! If you couldn’t tell by my previous posts, we are beyond excited to return to the Windy City for another marathon, delicious food, fall weather, and lots of wandering.
This week we are in full taper mode. If you’re a runner, you’ll be familiar with all the not-so-wonderful things that go along with tapering: Urge to cram in extra miles, self doubt about training, weight gain (this one always happens to me!), phantom pains, and of course, the reality of running 26.2 miles setting in.
All of these can be taper troubles can be comforted by only two things:
- Pumpkin Mac N’ Cheese
- Belief that you put in the training and you’re ready to run this marathon!
Let’s talk about this pumpkin mac. This is by far, my favorite version of vegan mac and cheese. Veganizing mac and cheese isn’t hard, but it can go wrong real quick. The use of fake, processed cheese is a big no-no in my book. Besides, that stuff tastes like weird plastic or something. The trick to a good vegan mac and cheese is the use of an orange squash i.e butternut squash, pumpkin, or kabocha with soaked cashews, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and nutritional yeast. This will start you with a good base cheese sauce. For this sauce, we’ll be using all those ingredients with Dijon mustard (say what!) and sage for some extra autumn flavor. If you have a nut allergy, this sauce is perfectly fine without the cashews, however it just won’t have that extra creamy factor.
Want to know how to make your own pumpkin puree? Check out our easy how-to tutorial here.
If you like this veganized mac n’ cheese, sign up for our FREE 5-page Recipe PDF that includes a smokey butternut squash mac n’ cheese recipe.
Pumpkin Mac N' Cheese
- 2 cups homemade or canned pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup raw cashews soaked overnight or boiled for 15 min. (optional - for extra creaminess)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 cup non-dairy milk
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 4 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 12 dried sage leaves, broken up
- 16 oz. elbow macaroni pasta
1. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain.
2. If using soaked cashews, put them in a blender with 1/4 cup water. Blend until smooth
3. Whisk together cornstarch, garlic powder, onion powder, nutritional yeast and non-dairy milk until there are no more lumps.
4. In a large pot, melt vegan butter over medium heat then add the milk mixture. Add Dijon mustard and salt. Stir for 2 minutes.
5. Add crumbled sage leaves, pumpkin purée and blended cashews. Stir and allow to heat up for another 5-7 minutes.
6. Add cooked pasta to sauce pot and stir to combine. Garnish with extra sage.