Today hubby and I were very busy in the kitchen. This is the second new recipe we made– I guess we were on a roll!
When I was in college, I became lactose intolerant. It was a major bummer for someone whose favorite foods included mozzarella sticks, fettuccine alfredo, and ice cream. But what I missed the most was mac-n-cheese. I used to eat it almost every other day. Now, out of necessity, it was banned from my diet.
I’ve tried various dairy-free (I use this term to mean lactose-free…butter doesn’t have lactose, and therefore is not a dangerous food for me) recipes throughout the years, but they just weren’t tasty. At all. I pretty much gave up on being able to have my once-favorite food, and settled into a life devoid of mac-n-cheese. Until today.
While on an airplane recently, I read an article which featured a spicy and smoky vegan mac-n-cheese recipe made with sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes? Mind blown! Of course as soon as I got home I gave hubby instructions to create his own gluten-free AND dairy free sweet potato mac-n-cheese, minus the smoke and the spicy-ness (so the kiddos could have some too.)
Hubby suggested adding a little bit of bacon, because everything is better with bacon right? I went back and forth on it– should I stick with vegan or go with bacon…mmmm, bacon. So it was settled– bacon it is! (Note– you could definitely leave out the bacon and use a butter substitute and it will be a vegan dish.)
I think I made the right decision– the finished product was not only good, it was out of this world! It was rich, creamy, and bacon-y. It tasted like there was NO way it could be good for you, but it’s gluten-free, dairy-free, and each helping has two servings of veggies. It’s totally good for you! In moderation of course…don’t forget about the bacon! 🙂
Here’s what you need:
- 1 box gluten-free pasta elbows (we had quinoa pasta on hand, but brown rice pasta would work well too)
- 1 large sweet potato (use two if your potatoes are on the smaller side)
- 1 package (7oz) of shredded cheddar “veggie” cheese (soy-based cheese)
- 4 slices bacon, chopped
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1/4 cup butter (technically, this counts as dairy, but it’s safe for lactose intolerant peeps like me)
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 bunch green onions, chopped (we like a lot, but you can use as much or as little as you please)
- juice of half a lemon
STEP 1: Prepare pasta according to directions on package.
STEP 2: Cook bacon and set aside.
STEP 3: Bake sweet potato (or microwave) until soft. Remove skin and add potato to mixing bowl. Mash well.
STEP 4: Roast sliced mushrooms for 10 minutes at 350° with a little salt and oil of your choice. Add to mixing bowl with sweet potatoes.
STEP 5: Add cheese, butter, onion powder, almond milk, lemon juice, and 1 cup of the water in which the pasta was cooked. Mix well. (We used a stand mixer on low.)
STEP 6: Add pasta to mixing bowl and stir by hand until well combined.
STEP 7: Pour entire mixture into 9×12 glass casserole dish. Coat with chopped bacon and green onions. Cover and bake for 30 minutes at 350°. Uncover and bake for 10 additional minutes.
This stuff is soooo good, it’s addicting! I’m definitely not missing out anymore!