I have been trying to create a mac n' cheese recipe that is Paleo-friendly for quite some time. I really don't like to “Paleo-fy” foods much, but both my kids just go nuts over mac n' cheese. What kid doesn't?! Mac n' Cheese is a rare treat in our house since we are Paleo. I don't buy cheese and I, definitely, don't buy noodles. However, I will confess that when I am in a hurry or when I leave my kids with the hubby for a night, I will leave a box of Annies gluten free mac n' cheese on the counter. I know…what a terrible Paleo mama.
I looked over many dairy-free alternatives to Mac n' Cheese, but a lot of them used ingredients that are not Paleo (rice flour, vegan butter, etc) which made it even more difficult for me to find a recipe. So, I thought I would just make my own. It's been rough, because what is mac n' cheese without noodles and cheese? So, don't think it's going to taste like your mama's mac n' cheese, however, I do think it tastes cheesy and a great alternativ.
And I have to admit, this is pretty darn good. It's very versatile. You can use several different kinds of “noodle” to pour the “cheese” sauce over. I just happened to use Spaghetti Squash, but you can also use zucchini noodles, cauliflower, or that Asian sweet potato noodle (or cheat and get some brown rice pasta or quinoa pasta). This cheese sauce would also be great to make broccoli and cheese with or to use as a dip.
Jackie's Uncheesy Sauce
(double recipe for a 9×13 dish)
4 TB of coconut oil
4 TB of Arrowroot Powder
2.5 cups of full fat coconut milk
1 heaping TB of tahini (some recipes use Almond Butter but I used Tahini)
2 heaping TB of gluten-free nutritional yeast
1/2 TS Dijon mustard
2 TB Rice Vinegar (yes, this is Paleo)
1 TS sea salt
1/2 TS garlic powder
1/2 TS onion powder
1/4 TS nutmeg
3 TB white wine
1/2 TS Paprika for the orange color
couple handfuls of almonds
In a medium saucepan, heat the coconut oil and stir in the arrowroot. Arrowroot is a thickening agent that has no flavor to it. Whisk the arrowroot for about 20 seconds and then slowly add in the coconut milk. Make sure you whisk and blend the paste really good. This is called a roux. Bring the roux to a bubbly boil and then reduce the heat to low.
Add the tahini, nutritional yeast, Dijon mustard, rice vinegar, sea salt, garlic powder, onion powder, nutmeg, and white wine. Add the paprika for color, if desired. Whisk it all together really well. Remove from heat and set aside.
Add the cooked “noodles” of your choice to a 9in square casserole pan. Pour the uncheese mixture over and lightly blend. Grab a few handfuls of almonds and pulse them in a blender (or use sliced almonds). Spread almonds over the dish and sprinkle some basil on top.
Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.