5.08.2013

Kale, Mac N Sweet Potato Cheese

This is day 3, week 1 of my Eat to Live 6 week challenge, and I am feeling pretty great!  I have noticed that my usual "time of the month" pains and woes are much less than they usually are, and for that, I am so grateful.  Here is my daily log and a recipe at the bottom: Kale, Mac N' Sweet Potato Cheese.

Food log:
  • Breakfast: 2 apples
  • Lunch: Dr. Fuhrman's Warm Lentil Salad, 2 slices of gf bread with hummus
  • Dinner: Kale, Mac N' Sweet Potato "Cheese" (see below)
  • Extras: 1 beer
Exercise log:
  • Cardio: 30 minutes stationary bicycle
  • Body weight exercises: calves, abs, back, core
  • Stretching: 5 minutes before and after
How I feel:
I'm happy that I was able to get in some exercise today. I know because of that I will sleep a lot more soundly tonight, yay!  I have noticed that I really really felt hungry for lunch today. Once I took that first bite, it was so delicious!  Looking over my food for the day, I feel like I did not get in as many fresh fruits as I had hoped for.  I'm hoping to find some time tomorrow to crack into a pineapple I have been saving up.  Yum!  Tonight, I found some time to cook and needed to use up a sweet potato I had had in my produce basket for a while, as well as the rest of the tofu package I used for my last recipe post. What resulted was Kale, Mac N' Sweet Potato Cheese.  Hope you enjoy! (Please note, since I am posting daily, my pictures are not being edited, and these are the best ones I could do on my iPad at the time!)

Kale, Mac N' Sweet Potato Cheese

Ingredients:
  • Pasta:
    • 1 cup dried macaroni noodles per person
    • 1-2 cups chopped fresh kale
  • Sauce:
    • 1 sweet potato, baked and peeled
    • 6 oz or 1/2 package silken tofu
    • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
    • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
    • 1 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
    • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
    • 1/2 tsp onion powder
    • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/2 tsp black pepper
    • 1/4 tsp liquid smoke (optional)

Instructions:
  1. In a boiling pot of water, begin to boil the macaroni. 
  2. In a high speed blender, blend together all of the ingredients until smooth and creamy.  If the sauce is too thick for your liking, add non-dairy milk one tablespoon at a time. 
  3. Once the pasta has become nearly al dente (with 3-5 minutes left to cook), add the chopped kale and stir.  Frequently stir the pot until the pasta is fully cooked. Drain the kale and pasta in a strainer. 
  4. Return the kale and pasta to the pot and drizzle on the desired amount of sweet potato "cheese" sauce for the entire dish.  Return to the stovetop on low heat.  Remove from heat and serve once the sauce has become hot. 

Amy's Notes:
This dish actually came together very quickly.  For the noodles, I used rice macaroni that I had gotten from the bulk bins at the grocery store.  To be honest, they are not my favorite on their own, but this sauce definitely makes them worth eating.  I would suggest that you use a whole wheat pasta instead.  When I made this, I used about 1 cup of kale per one cup of macaroni.  I found that this was a little less kale than I desired, so make sure to overestimate for the greens, they tend to shrink down!  If you don't have kale on hand, you can always use another dark green like collards, mustard greens, or spinach.  Keep in mind that lighter greens like spinach will take much less time to cook in the boiling water.  For the sauce, I have experimented with making several different types of vegan "cheese" recipes including those that are nut base, some that use corn starch to thicken, and some with pretty interesting ingredients.  I found that this has been my favorite one so far.  The sweet potato and tofu add the right thickness and color, while the spices add a great, but subtle kick to it. 

What types of vegan "cheese" sauces have you tried making at home?  Which ones have been your favorite?

This post was submitted to Healthy Vegan Friday.  Thanks to one of the hosts, Carrie from Carrie on Vegan for giving bloggers such a fun stage for recipe creativity!
(Backlink: http://www.carrieonvegan.com/2013/05/10/healthy-vegan-friday-recipes-my-favorite-submissions/)

18 comments:

  1. Amazing how having to write down what you're eating makes you think twice before popping something in your mouth, isn't it? I'm enjoying following your progress, and am loving the recipes. This one and the warm lentil salad from the other day look great.

    Good luck with the 6-week challenge!

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    1. It really does help tremendously to write down what you eat in a day. I never start a day thinking "I need to restrict", but rather "I need to make the best choices I can". It gives me extra motivation that I have my blog audience watching too :). Glad you are enjoying the recipes! I would 100% recommend the Warm Lentil Salad. Thanks so much for the encouragement!

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  2. Oh! My husband and I have a vegan mac and cheese recipe really similar to this. It is one of our favorite things to eat! Such a comfort food! :)

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    1. Perfect way to put it, definitely some of the best comfort food!

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  3. I love trying new "cheese" sauces, my latest experiments were butternut squash and cauliflower (the former being the tastier version). Can't wait to try this - I have a serious sweet potato habit! :)

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    1. "Cheeses" using butternut squash or cauliflower sound interesting. I know the most important thing for me in a "cheese" sauce is the creamy factor, and I think I hit the spot with a sweet potato. (Not to mention, the color looked just like the kraft "krap" I used to eat.) Thanks for reading and I hope you like the recipe when you get a change to try it :).

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  4. At first glance, I thought it was spinach that you put in the macaroni. Kale is a great choice for its crunchiness.

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    1. Kale did go well with the macaroni, but spinach could work too. As long as we can get those greens in ;)!

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  5. i made this dish monday night, at the request of my 15 year old niece. we were both yummily surprised at the ease and tastiness :) (we were eating the sauce straight out of the blender).

    I'm not much of a cook, so I was wondering about suggestions to thicken the sauce. Also, any ideas on a little more zing. It was great out of the blender, but once we mixed it with pasta and kale we needed a little more seasoning.

    thanks so much for one of my new favorite meals!

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    1. Joy, I'm so happy that the recipe worked out for you. To give it a bit more zing, I might suggest adding lemon or rice vinegar (a little goes a long way!).

      Thanks so much for reading!

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    2. I added canned chipotle peppers (the ones in adobo sauce) which lent little smoky hotness and turned out fantastic. (I live in TX and we add peppers to everything). They are very hot and a little bit goes a long way!

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  6. I just discovered this recipe. It was very very good. It made so much sauce though that I couldn't eat it all. The tofu package says eat within 2 days. Is that really true? I can't eat it all in 2 days.

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    1. One of my biggest cooking flaws is making just too much of one recipe, I also had quite a bit of cheeze left. I used it later for dipping broccoli and asparagus in like a fondue. Yum! :)

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  7. Oh my goodness. I made this last night and I think I like this version better than regular mac and cheese. To make things better, my 5 year old ate it (almost a full bowl). I have raved about this to everyone I talk to. Keli

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    1. Thansk Keli for your positive feedback! I've been long in search of a mac and cheese recipe and this is up to date still my favorite. Thanks for reading!

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  8. Ha! "Drain the kale and pasta in a coriander"... gave me a good laugh. Darn auto correct!

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    1. HA! I never noticed that. Good old typing on my iPad to thank for that. Thanks! I will fix that!

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  9. Hello! I made this last night with gluten-free elbow pasta and added a couple of canned chipotle peppers to the sauce, and it turned out FANTASTIC! My omnivore fiancee even asked to take leftovers for lunch! Thank you so much!

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