Cheese has been one of the hardest things to give up for me on a plant based diet. And while I will occasionally splurge, not eating cheese on a daily basis can be depressing. Especially with mac and cheese. While I believe the vegan roasted garlic mac and cheese recipe is awesome, I think this toasted coconut recipe might just take the cake (or cheese?)!
I really missed the crunchy baked mac and cheese that you only really make on special occasions but, I couldn’t use parmesan cheese and am not a huge fan of adding extra bread crumb carbs or dairy free cheeses. The coconut topping adds a perfectly crunchy texture as parmesan cheese or bread crumb topping would. It also happens to be filled with healthy and delicious nutrients.
I love cooking with bean pasta, (I even made a whole guide about it…) I find it has way more flavor and is significantly more filling than regular pasta. If you’re anything like me and don’t know how to stop eating pasta (it just tastes so good), bean pasta is a game changer. The brand I currently am super into is Banza. They make a delicious chickpea pasta and have just come out with 6 new shapes! I can’t wait to try! And without further ado…
- 1 Box of Banza Pasta Shells (or pasta of your choice)
- 1 Clove of Garlic
- 4 Tbsp of Grapeseed Oil (or olive oil)
- 4 Tbsp of arrowroot starch
- 2 cups of unsweetened almond milk, plus more if needed
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ cup of nutritional yeast
- ½ cup of coconut flakes
- Optional: Pinch of cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes if you’re feeling spicy
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Cook the pasta according to box instructions. If using bean pasta I suggest keeping a close eye on it. I like to check on the consistency after 5 minutes and every minute after that.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add grapeseed oil and minced fresh garlic. Stir for about 2 minutes or until lightly brown. Next whisk in arrowroot starch for about 1 minute.
- Slowly begin adding the almond milk and continue to whisk. Cook for two minutes and continue to whisk. The sauce most will become clumpy but don't worry, we shall be blending it!
- Add the sauce to a blender along with the nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper. Red pepper flakes and garlic powder.
- Now blend that delicious sauce until creamy. Once it looks blended, try a bit to see if it is seasoned to your liking. If not, add some extra seasoning.
- Once you are happy with the taste, add the sauce and pasta into a cast iron skillet, cover with coconut flakes.
- Cook for 10-15 minutes, until the coconut flakes are lightly browned. Let cool for about 5 minutes and serve!