Yes you read that right! Feel free to dress this dish up however you would tacos. I for one like a really simple soft taco, with meat, cheese, sour cream and salsa. Like hard tacos? Crumble some corn chips on top! Need some guac to have decent tacos? Throw on a scoop of guac! This mac and cheese can really go anyway you want. You can also skip the taco part altogether and just make the creamy-dreamy, smoky-cheddar sauce (but you’d really be missing out). To make it gluten free just sub your fave gluten free noodles.
For the Smoky Cheddar Sauce: (Serves 4)
1/2 cup raw cashews
1 cup sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/4 cup carrots, peeled and cubed
2 tsp vegan butter
1/3 cup (about 2 small) shallots, diced
2 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp vegan chick’n bouillon cube or veggie bouillon
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp smoked paprika
1/8 tsp non-smoked paprika
big pinch cayenne pepper
1/4 cup cashew milk or coconut milk
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp rice vinegar
1.5 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp salt
For the Taco Meat:
1/4 tsp vegan chik’n boullion or veggie bouillon
1/2 cup water
1.5 cup Gardein beef-less crumbles (or other vegan meal crumble)
5.5 tsp taco seasoning
big pinch of cumin
1/2 C of your favorite salsa (2 tbsp each)
- Boil noodles for 4 people. Soak cashews in warm water, and prep veggies as needed. Put on a small pot of water to boil for the potatoes and carrots.
- Boil carrots and potatoes for 10 minutes. Melt 2 tsp vegan butter over medium heat in a pan. Add shallot and garlic and sauté for 5-7 minutes until soft. Remove from heat and add the onion powder, smoked paprika, paprika, cayenne pepper, veggie bouillon and 1/4 cup water. Give a good stir, then simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes, making sure nothing burns and not too much of the water evaporates.
- Add soaked cashews (drained), boiled potatoes and carrots, smoked shallots, other 1/4 cup water, cashew milk, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, rice vinegar and salt to a blender and blend until as creamy as possible.
- You can make the taco meat in the same pan that you sautéed the shallots. Bring the bouillon and water to a simmer. Stir in the beef crumbles, and then the taco seasoning and cumin. Let cook for 5-10 minutes in an even layer across the pan, stirring once or twice but letting it brown across the bottom.
- Mix cheese sauce over noodles. Top with taco meat, salsa, and any other taco toppings you want. Enjoy!