pumpkin mac n 1

A video has popped up several times on my Facebook feed for a vegan mac n’ cheese, depicting a “cheesy vortex” created from mixing raw cashews with water that has been boiled with potatoes, carrots and onion.  I was intrigued enough to consider trying the recipe but had the inspiration to add some pumpkin as part of my seasonal creations to feature in my yearly “Pumpkin Palooza” newsletter.  I also felt that it would need a bit of nutritional yeast to give a true cheesy flavor so I tweaked the recipe, as below.

I used 1/4 cup fresh pumpkin (not the sugar variety!) but this can probably be made with a couple tablespoons of canned pureed pumpkin instead.  It is rather hard to cut through a pumpkin and you also have to remove the skin; For that reason, I generally buy chunks of carved pumpkin (see photo below)  from either the Asian market or the Indian market.  I find so many wonderful treasures at those two stores, which happen to be across the street from each other in the University of South Florida area of Tampa, about 20 minutes from my home.

You can use any brand of macaroni that you prefer; To make it gluten-free either a brown rice or quinoa would be good.  Below is a photo of all of the ingredients I used, minus the spices.  I used paprika in the photo but in my serving I sprinkled Harissa to give it more of a kick.  If I had any truffle salt or oil on hand, I think that this would have been the crowning glory to a decent-tasting bowl of faux mac n’cheese.  In order to get a savory rather than sweet finish, add additional nutritional yeast.  Note:  The brand name of Tree of Life has been rebranded recently to “Cadia” so you might still find some in the old packaging/branding.

pumpkin mac prep

Pumpkin Mac N’Cheeze

This makes a large, family-sized meal with many portions so adjust accordingly or freeze the leftovers.*

1 bag macaroni (I used Cadia’s Brown Rice)
1 regular white potato or 2 yukon gold
1 large carrot (or 4-5 carrot chunks)
1/2 white onion
1/4 cup fresh pumpkin, peeled – cut into chunks, but not too small*
3 cups filtered water (for boiling the vegetables)   – you will also need water for boiling the macaroni separately
1 cup raw cashew pieces
1/4 cup of nutritional yeast (plus extra for flavoring or sprinkling)
1-2 cloves garlic or 1 TB. garlic powder (I used a TB of Kyolic aged garlic liquid)
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1-2 TB. sea or Himalayan salt
Optional:  paprika, Harissa or black truffle salt/oil for topping

*replace with 1-2 TB. canned pumpkin puree

Directions:  Boil macaroni according to package instructions, drain and put some ice to cool and keep from becoming too soft.  With the 3 cups of filtered water boil the potatoes (cut into large chunks) for about 7 minutes, add carrots, onion and pumpkin and boil until soft.  About another 7-10 minutes, testing with fork.  Retain 1 1/2 cups of the vegetable boil water.  In a high-powered blenders add the cashews, nutritional yeast, garlic and spices and pour 1 cup of the boiling water and blend until smooth.  Add the boiled vegetables and continue blending (adding extra water if needed but keep consistency thick and creamy).  Taste and adjust seasonings.

Pour into serving bowls and top with paprika, harissa or truffle salt/oil.  Have extra nutritional yeast on hand for sprinkling on the individual servings.  Serve while hot!

LindaJoy Rose (Academy Founder and Natural Wellness Expert)

LindaJoy Rose, PhD is a therapist, author, professional speaker, international trainer, and healthy living expert with over 25 years of experience. As the former Director of International Development for the American Board of Hypnotherapy, she is a pioneer in the field of subconscious dynamics and clinical hypnotherapy, implementing training and certification in many countries across Europe, Latin America and Asia.

Dr. LJ has appeared numerous times as the Healthy Living expert with the Tampa NBC affiliate and syndicated Daytime TV show, local media coverage, and over 100 videos on the super-information site, eHow.com.

She is the author of eight books, including Your Mind: The Owner’s Manual and Raw Fusion Living: Recipes for Health Eating, Natural Weight Loss and Anti-Aging, and contributes regularly to the popular worldwide news service, The Huffington Post.

With a grant from the Astra-Zeneca Foundation, Rose successfully launched a healthy lifestyle retraining program at one of the nation’s largest and most respected clinics. Having overcome a debilitating auto-immune disorder through lifestyle changes and self-care, she subsequently developed a practical and delicious eating philosophy and teaches popular classes with food demonstrations, world-wide.

In 2013, she launched the online and onsite Natural Wellness Academy with certifications in Holistic Health and Life Coaching and Clinical Hypnotherapy and with students and graduates in almost 20 countries.

The daughter of two Holocaust survivors, Dr. Rose is also a volunteer docent at the Florida Holocaust Museum and resides in Tampa, Florida with her husband and 4 furry companions.

"From training therapists internationally in the fields of psychology and hypnotherapy to being an online mentor for two West Coast Universities, to founding the Natural Wellness Academy, teaching has always been my passion, I enjoy nothing more than informing and inspiring prospective coaches and therapists."

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One Comment

  1. HI Dr LJ, I am paleo and low carb, can this be made without the potatoe or a sweet potatoe instead? I like to cut the carbs down more if possible. Thank you, this looks awesome.

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