January is often synonymous with “detox,” launching a million juice cleanses and yoga passes. I prefer to start the new year indulging in the heartiest, most satisfying, lip-smacking comfort food — both to fill my steady hunger cravings and keep me sane during the long Canadian winter.
On a frigid day when my only agenda is to lounge at home in my sweats, mac and cheese always lifts my mood. I wrote a previous blog entry about veganizing the dish with a sauce made from cashews. Here, cauliflower also makes a great “cheese” sauce, baked with spinach and artichokes.
Baked mac and cheese with cauliflower sauce, spinach and artichokes
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 to 25 minutes
Total time: 35 to 40 minutes
- 4 cups macaroni
- 1 medium head cauliflower, chopped
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 3 tbsp turmeric
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/2 medium white onion
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup almond or cashew milk
- 4 cups spinach leaves
- 1 can marinated artichokes
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- herbs and chili flakes to taste
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- shredded vegan cheese, such as Daiya (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C)
- Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- In a large pot, sauté the garlic and onion for about 5 minutes.
- Add water and bring to a boil. Add the chopped cauliflower and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until softened.
- Drain and add to a food processor or high-speed blender.
- Add in the oil, nutritional yeast, turmeric, salt and pepper. Process or blend until smooth. If the sauce is too thin, add milk as needed.
- In a casserole dish, pour in the drained pasta. Add the spinach leaves and artichokes.
- Pour the sauce on top of the pasta and mix well.
- Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and rosemary, basil, thyme or chili flakes.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
*If you’re adding vegan cheese shreds, sprinkle it on the pasta after it’s been baking for 15 minutes and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes.
More “cheesy” ideas for comfort food
And check out this video for a cheesy spaghetti squash with broccoli and garlic: