There’s nothing quite like a warm, comforting bowl of vegan mac and cheese on a cold winter day. Not only is it delicious and satisfying, but it’s also a great way to incorporate more plant-based foods into your diet. Broccoli is and has always been one of my favorite vegetables and this vegan dinner recipe is a staple in our house, but you can add cauliflower, carrots or any other vegetable that tickles your fancy.
One of the great things about vegan comfort food is that it can be just as indulgent and creamy as its non-vegan counterparts, but without the negative health consequences. By using plant-based ingredients like nuts, seeds, and vegetables, you can create rich and flavorful dishes that are much lower in saturated fat and cholesterol than traditional comfort foods.
One of my favorite vegan comfort food recipes is vegan mac and cheese with broccoli and garlic. Not only is it packed with flavor, but it’s also loaded with nutrients thanks to the addition of broccoli. Plus, the garlic adds a nice depth of flavor and helps to boost the immune system.
What is your go to vegan comfort food recipe?
*Elbow macaroni (really any type of pasta will do)
*Garlic cloves, minced
*Plant milk (I like to use unsweetened almond milk)
*Yellow or Dijon mustard
*Vegan cheddar cheese (or a blend)
*Cornstarch slurry (or a flour/butter roux)
Make Vegan Broccoli Mac & Cheese:
Bring a pot of water to boil and add broccoli. Cook for 3 minutes and remove from water, run under cold water and set aside.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package instructions. If you want to make this vegan mac and cheese a little more calorie-friendly, there are a few simple swaps you can make. First, try using whole wheat pasta instead of white pasta. It’s higher in fiber and nutrients, and it has a slightly nutty flavor that goes well with the cheese sauce.
Mince the garlic and set aside, OR you can give it a quick oil-free sauté in a small skillet to give this vegan mac & cheese recipe a roasted garlicky flavor.
While the pasta cooks, start on your vegan cheese sauce. You can make this two different ways depending on your weight loss or dietary goals.
ONE: Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Add the broccoli, minced garlic, plant milk, mustard, vegan cheddar cheese, and nutritional yeast. Stir everything together until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth and creamy.
TWO: Add garlic to small sauce pan and cook 1 or 2 minutes until you can smell it cooking. Add mustard and whisk together until it starts to get a little clumpy and sticky. Add half the plant milk and keep whisking until it starts to break up and blend with the liquid. Slowly add turmeric, paprika, cumin and other herbs & spices, plus nutritional yeast. When you’re satisfied with the taste, add cornstarch slurry (just an even mixture of cornstarch & water). Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Slowly add vegan cheese here if you’re using it.
You can serve it as it is OR pop it into a 200C oven for 10 to 15 minutes.
Tip: For really gooey & cheesy vegan mac & cheese, add the cheese sauce to the pasta and broccoli and stir it all together with shredded or diced vegan cheese and then bake it. Perfection!
*If you’re looking for a way to reduce fat or calories, consider unsweetened plant milk.
*Add extra nutrients by adding some extra vegetables to the dish to bulk it up and satisfy your appetite. Some great options include diced bell peppers, sliced mushrooms, or even some diced sweet potatoes.
Overall, vegan comfort food can be a delicious and satisfying way to eat more plant-based foods. Whether you’re vegan or just looking to incorporate more plant-based meals into your diet, this vegan mac and cheese with broccoli and garlic is a great recipe to try. It’s creamy, flavorful, and packed with nutrients, and it’s sure to become a new family favorite.
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