Tuesday, February 5, 2019

The Best Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Mac & Cheese

This vegan mac and cheese is loaded with buffalo cauliflower for a mac and cheese that packs a punch!

Buffalo cauliflower has become so popular and there are a few different ways to make it depending on your preferences. For one, you can batter it up (like I do in this bang bang cauliflower recipe) and then bake it up so each piece of cauliflower has a nice battered crispy coating. You can also batter up the cauliflower and fry the florets in a pan with oil so they get super crispy. (Though a bit less healthy)

But for today’s recipe, we’re going with just simple roasted buffalo cauliflower. Why? Because we’re going for simple and healthy here. (But if you prefer to do one of the above options, more power to you!)


Ingredients:


Buffalo cauliflower:

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 cup Frank’s red hot sauce

Cheese sauce:

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked in hot water for 1-4 hours (or overnight)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp Frank’s red hot sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Other ingredients:

  • 250 grams macaroni, cooked according to package directions (or pasta of choice)
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • breadcrumbs to top (optional)


Instructions:


  1. Make the buffalo cauliflower: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line a baking pan with parchment paper. Toss the cauliflower in olive oil, salt and paprika and scatter on the pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven, toss in the hot sauce, then place back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes.
  2. Make the cheese sauce: Drain the cashews and add to a high-speed blender with the water, nutritional yeast, hot sauce and salt. Blend on high until smooth and creamy.
  3. Putting it all together: Heat the olive oil in a pan on medium-high heat then add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the cheese sauce and cook for 2-3 minutes while mixing. Add the macaroni and mix together until combined, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper if needed then layer the macaroni and buffalo cauliflower in a baking dish. Top with breadcrumbs and place in the oven on broil for 1 minute.


NOTES:

  • Top off this mac and cheese with some fresh cilantro!