Nailed It!

Cheese.

The addiction is real.

You see, cheese contains casein (a protein found in all milk products). During digestion, casein breaks apart and releases morphine like substances. Did you catch that? Morphine. Like the drug. The highly addictive drug.

And while the amount of opiates found in cheese probably won’t warrant your arrest, you most certainly can blame them for your inability to control your pizza consumption.

I have to admit, I was a cheese addict. I had even been known to warm cheese curds in the microwave, let them get a bit bubbly, and eat them with a fork.

Yep. Clearly I had a problem.

So how do I survive without cheese?

Well, there are a lot of cheese substitutes out there, but for the most part, I avoid processed foods. (That’s not to say I don’t enjoy a little Daiya from time to time, however.) Thankfully, I can make “cheese” out of cashews. Yep. Cashews.

Magical.

Ever since I crossed over to the dark (vegan) side, I have been searching for a mac and cheese to replace the my favorite dish from Zuppa’s, a local cafe famous for their mac and cheese. And now, after years of trying, I have finally created a winning recipe.

Believe me when I say this is BEYOND good. This is ‘to die for’ good. This is ‘my picky kids even like it’ good. This is ‘my husband loves it’ good. This is ‘I’m dreaming of leftovers for lunch’ kind of good.

And, as an added bonus, it’s good for you. Take that Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, with all of your additives and preservatives.

But, truth be told, I’m finding that it still is addictive. But not because of the casein. Just because it’s incredibly creamy, cheesy, and satisfying. Comfort food at its best.

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Before baking…

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Fresh out of the oven…

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On my plate…

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Veggie Mac and “Cheese”

serves 6

8 oz. noodles (I used whole wheat fusilli)

2 large stalks of broccoli (about 3-4 cups of florets)

3 cups cashews (soaked in water overnight, drained and rinsed)

2 cups milk (I used almond)

1/2 c. nutritional yeast

2 t. salt

1 T. olive oil

1 t. turmeric

1/2 t. onion powder

1/2 t. garlic powder

Cook noodles according to package directions. Add the broccoli and boil with noodles. While the noodles and broccoli are boiling, make cheese sauce by placing cashews, milk, nutritional yeast, salt, oil, turmeric, onion powder and garlic powder in a high speed blender. Blend. Drain noodles/broccoli. Place in oven safe dish. Pour cheese sauce on top. Combine. Cover and bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes.