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hi there! i'm celina.

i enjoy sharing yummy, gluten free, plant based creations.  

Sweet Potato Mac N 'Cheese'

Sweet Potato Mac N 'Cheese'

One of the meals I missed the most when I first went dairy-free was mac n cheese...now, I realize that I don't have to miss comfort foods like this at all - there are so many veggie alternatives! This entree is easy, nutritious, and great for lunch or dinner. As always, it's vegan and gluten free - and SO good baked too! Try fooling friends with this yummy dish - they won't miss the dairy. Makes about 3 large servings. 

INGREDIENTS
• ½ package elbows pasta (I used Banza's gluten-free elbows!)
• 1 large sweet potato (or two small), roasted then peeled
• ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
• ½ cup nutritional yeast
• ½ teaspoon garlic powder
• ½ teaspoon onion powder
• ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
• 1 teaspoon cumin
• 1-2 tablespoons dijon mustard
• sea salt to taste (I used about ½ teaspoon)
• black pepper to taste

Toppings (optional):
• ½ cup Simple Mills sea salt crackers(or other GF cracker), blended into 'crumbs'
• chopped cilantro, for garnish
• chopped green onion, for garnish

DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Wash, then pierce sweet potato with a fork 6-7 times around, and place on baking sheet. Roast for 45mins-1hr, until sweet potato is fully cooked. You can tell when it's ready because it will most likely be oozing! :)

2. While sweet potato is baking, make the pasta! I simply followed the instructions on the package. Drain pasta when ready, and set aside in a colander. 

3. Remove sweet potato from oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes. Scoop out sweet potato flesh from skin**, and place in blender. Add almond milk, nutritional yeast, dijon mustard, spices, and blend until you have a 'cheesy', creamy consistency. At this point, you can add a little more almond milk if you want to thin out the cheese sauce a bit
**Sweet potato skin is super nutritious, I save it for later or eat it while I'm cooking! 

4. Add a little olive oil to a medium sized sauce pan (optional) on the stovetop, then add in the cheese sauce. Heat on medium high for a couple minutes, then add in cooked pasta. Mix with a wooden spoon until pasta is fully covered in sauce. 
** Alternatively, you could toss & bake the pasta at 375 degrees F for 25-30minutes in a 8x8 pyrex dish- this is also delicious but obviously takes a bit more waiting time :) 

5. Take pasta off stovetop, top with herbs, cracker crumbs, salt and pepper, and serve warm!

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