''Mac and Cheese'' Pasta Sauce with Hidden Vegetables
As busy parents of two kids under four, we know first-hand how challenging it can be to create healthy and nutritious meals night after night, that mostly end up all over the floor and smeared across the dining table.
Add in trying to encourage them to eat vegetables, because apparently, they now hate them despite being exposed to a whole rainbow of flavours since they started solids, and it’s an uphill battle.
That’s why we’re huge fans of hiding vegetables wherever we can and embracing the freezer bulk-prep life. It not only ensures that our kids are eating well, but it also reduces the mental load of having to always have an answer to the dreaded question of “what’s for dinner?”
When we finally make it through the door in the afternoons after doing the school and daycare pickups with the inevitable “Mum, I’m staaaaarrrrrving”, there’s always something on hand that just needs warming and adding to some freshly cooked pasta, rice or as a dipping sauce.
Those first 5 minutes of silence as the kids shovel their favourite “Mac and Cheese” Pasta into their little faces is pure bliss.
The best part is they have no clue that “Mac and Cheese” Pasta is actually an epic combination of two humble vegetables – pumpkin and cauliflower, and there's no actual cheese in sight.
My favourite part of this recipe is just how quick and easy it is to make. Not only does it taste incredible, but it also packs a powerful nutritional punch.
It also freezes extremely well inside large ice cube trays if you want to portion the perfect meal size.
Mac and Cheese Sauce
Prep | 15 minutes Makes | 750ml (3 cups)
600 g (5 ½ cups) cauliflower, cut into florets (equates to one small cauliflower)
300 g (2 ½ cups) pumpkin, cut into chunks (equates to one half small pumpkin)
30 g (½ cup) nutritional yeast
80 ml (1/3 cup) extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
black pepper to taste
- Steam the cauliflower and pumpkin until tender and then place in highspeed food processor with all other ingredients.
- Process until smooth.
- Combine sauce with cooked pasta, rice or use as a dipping cream.
Now I'm sure you're sitting there reading this and wondering "what on earth is nutritional yeast?".
It's a popular and versatile ingredient that is most often used in vegan and vegetarian dishes as a flavour enhancer and has a savoury, cheese-like flavour. It's a deactivated form of yeast known as Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and is generally sold in a yellow flake or powder form.
Most good grocery stores will stock nutritional yeast in the health food aisle.
If you need a hand planning out your weekly meals, or your busy life in general, make sure you check out our versatile and stylish magnetic fridge planners.