Protein Mac and Cheese

You’re lying if you say you don’t love mac and cheese. You’re just straight-up kidding yourself. When I woke up this morning, all I wanted was creamy cheesy pasta, but I can hardly ever justify this craving to myself. That’s just me being honest–nutritional yeast and spices and pasta? Hardly a health food. Very little benefit from that meal. So, I told myself that I was allowed to have macaroni and cheese for brunch if I made it very high in protein.

Game-changer.

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Ingredients:
– one can cannellini beans
– one cup split peas
– 3 cups unsweetened almond milk
– 1 cup nutritional yeast
– 2 tsp. salt
– 1 tsp. each turmeric, garlic, and onion powder
– 1 heaping Tbsp. Dijon
– pepper to taste

** optional: stir in some Earth Balance while your sauce is on the stovetop. It will really add the creaminess. Nutritional yeast and butter spreads are in love with each other. If you want to keep it oil-free, which I did, omit this.

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Get your peas in some boiling water until tender. The foam that forms on the top is toxic, so skin off as much as you can and when they’re done, rinse them thoroughly.

Add all other ingredients in blender except pasta and peas.

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Pour sauce into medium saucepan and add split peas. Stir to combine and cover, on medium-high heat, for about five minutes or until it STARTS to boil. You will need to stir occasionally so the peas don’t stick to the bottom. Then lower heat to simmer. Heating the sauce separately will help it to thicken.

**sidenote: 1 cup of dried split peas makes a LOT of split peas, especially in this recipe. Feel free to use only half a cup if you’re not the biggest fan or you like a thicker sauce for the pasta.

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Cook pasta of choice (all we have is farfalle right now) and cook. Strain, return to pot, and add sauce immediately. Frank’s Red Hot optional, but absolutely 100% encouraged.

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Hungry dog wants pasta now. If you’re trying to fill up on not a lot of pasta with this dish (like me), measure out how much pasta you want and then add sauce to it rather than adding it all together.

Feel like you need more sauce? Double the recipe! Wicked easy. This would also be a good one to bake in a casserole dish after topping with breadcrumbs. Just sayin’.

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Jacqui, did you top your vegan macaroni and cheese with avocado and Frank’s? Obviously. It’s brunch!

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