If you’re American you surely know the popularity of Mac & Cheese. In Europe it is less known, but as a family who has travelled the world, it is very well known to us.
The first time my eldest son tried Mac’n Cheese in the United States he loved it! Here in Belgium he used to ask for his favourite dish all the time: Macaroni with Cheese Sauce. The difference in the Belgian recipe is that we use cream and Emmental cheese to make the sauce. While the US Max&Cheese is with Cheddar.
In this invented recipe, I tried to combine the best of both worlds and I added vegetables to it, to make it healthier. But beware that this is not a vegan version. So far, I’ve only posted vegan recipes, but this one is vegetarian, not vegan, as it includes cheese. But for the vegans, it’s worth trying the recipe with vegan cheese!
- 4-5 normal-sized carrots
- Vegetable broth
- ricotta (1 cup)
- Parmesan (1/2 cup)
- Cheddar (1 cup)
- Plant-based cream (1 to 2 bricks, depending on how thick or liquid you want the sauce)
- spices: salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika
So here’s how I started:
First off, I started boiling some water for the macaroni and I had a bunch of carrots simmer in another cooking pot. The carrots are cut into small pieces and you just add 4 table spoons of water and some spices (I uses salt, pepper, and vegetable broth (the powder version)). Cover up and let cook slowly. If carrots start sticking to bottom of pan then add some more water.
When the carrots were soft, I mixed them into a puree. To this puree I added plant-based cream, a cup of Ricotta cheese, a cup of Cheddar and half a cup of Parmesan. Then I fine-tuned with some spices such as paprika, garlic powder and onion powder.
Add your cooked macaroni to the sauce and you are done. The carrots give a rich orange-yellow colour and add to the taste. It was wonderful seeing the kids so happy while eating their ‘improved’ favourite meal.
You can also experiment with many other types of sauces. In the past, I’ve also experimented with avocado and cashew nuts, which was also very good. And with home-made humus it’s also tasty, but it gets easily dry if you don’t eat it immediately, so I still need to improve on that recipe.
Let me know what you thought of this recipe and if you (and your kids, if you have any) enjoyed it!
Have a great weekend,