The Ultimate Vegan Mac N’Cheese

Autumn calls for comfort food, don’t ya think?

Dancing for Donuts | The Ultimate Vegan Mac N'Cheese

I recently made this vegan mac n’cheese for a giveaway with Spudsy Foods (I mentioned them in my September favorites!) and knew I had to share the full recipe on here with you guys. It’s quite possibly the easiest sauce to make – it comes together in a blender with minimal chopping – and is fantastic with any kind of pasta, although I rarely eat anything other than Banza’s chickpea pasta these days!

The “cheese” part of the sauce comes from Nutritional Yeast, which is basically a vegan supplement for Vitamin B12 and protein that happens to have a delicious cheesy flavor to it. The creaminess of the sauce comes from the soaked cashews and veggie broth, and then there’s some garlic and paprika in there too, for extra flavor! I topped this dish with Spudsy’s BBQ Sweet Potato Puffs, but you could easily just use regular bread crumbs or panko flakes!

And one last thing I’ll say: this dish even passed the bf test, which for me is a HUGE win since mine doesn’t particularly love the idea of “healthy” versions of thingsūüėā

Dancing for Donuts | The Ultimate Vegan Mac N'Cheese

The Ultimate Vegan Mac N’Cheese

your favorite pasta, cooked according to the directions

1/2 cup cashews soaked in water for at least 3 hours (or overnight)

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

1/2 cup veggie broth

1/3 cup non-dairy milk

1/2 tsp paprika

3-4 cloves garlic

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup crumbled Spudsy Sweet Potato Puffs (or breadcrumbs)

1. Cook pasta according to directions and while boiling, make the cashew cheese sauce below.

2. In a blender, add the soaked cashews (drained), broth, milk, nutritional yeast, paprika, garlic and salt to a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. *If you need to add a little bit of liquid, add either more broth or water tbsp by tbsp – a little goes a long way!

3. Add the sauce to the drained pasta and keep over low to medium heat to warm the sauce.

4. Spoon the mac n’cheese into bowls or ramekins and top with the breadcrumbs or crumbled Spudsy puffs. Enjoy right away or bake in the oven at 300 degrees fahrenheit for 5-10 minutes.¬†

*Store leftover cashew cheese sauce in an airtight container for up to 3 days*

Dancing for Donuts | The Ultimate Vegan Mac N'Cheese

Well, that’s it for today!! Have you guys ever made vegan versions of your favorite foods? I’m not vegan, as you know, but I love this idea of re-vamping some of my meals to be more plant-based!

xo Jordan

Chicken Parmesan Quinoa.

This is a good one, guys.

Full-disclosure, this recipe is a copycat from one of my favorite spots to grab a quick, healthy bite in Boulder, CO. Since I didn’t get to visit it during my last Colorado trip, I knew I had to find a way to recreate it so I could get my fix! This dish is so easy to make (we’re talking 30 minutes from start to finish), makes a boatload of leftovers, and is as healthy as comfort food gets.

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The chicken itself only takes 20 minutes and is so unbelievably flavorful, I can’t even. I don’t know about you, but I tend to struggle with making delicious chicken that isn’t horribly dry and boring. I think I’ve found the fix: rubbing an olive oil and spices mixture on each side before it goes in the oven. Just 20 minutes at 450 degrees does the trick and if you don’t want to use it all for this particular meal, I’m sure it would taste just as good (if not better) on top of a salad or with some roasted veggies.

Dancing for Donuts | Chicken Parmesan Quinoa.

Chicken Parmesan Quinoa

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp kosher salt

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tbsp italian seasoning mix (I use one with a grinder so it tastes fresh!)

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 cup dry quinoa

1 cup of your favorite marinara sauce

1 package mozzarella, diced

1/4 cup parmesan

1/2 cup chopped tomato

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. On a baking sheet, place each piece of chicken side by side in an even layer. *If need be, pound the chicken so that it is all the same thickness.

2. In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, salt, garlic powder, italian seasoning, and black pepper. Rub the mixture on each side of all pieces of the chicken. Bake for 20 minutes.

3. While the chicken is cooking, place 1 cup of dry quinoa and 2 cups of water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for ~10 minutes or until water is absorbed.

4. With the stove on low heat, add the marinara sauce, tomato, mozzarella and parmesan cheese and stir to combine.

5. Once the chicken is done, dice it and stir it into the quinoa mix. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

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Enjoy, friends!

xo Jordan

Skinny Pumpkin Cream Stuffed French Toast (For One!)

Y’know how sometimes the best ideas come straight outta nowhere? Yeah. This was one of those ideas.

I was laying in bed last night, dead tired and trying so hard to fall asleep but for some reason I could not to turn my brain off (does this happen to you guys?!). While ordinarily I hate when that happens, this time when food popped into my head I didn’t mind so much because I thought of the things in my fridge (bread, an egg, pumpkin, my favorite Noosa pumpkin greek yogurt, etc.) and then this recipe.

Dancing for Donuts | Skinny Pumpkin Cream Stuffed French Toast (For One!)

I used sprouted Ezekiel bread for the base, which is basically a superfood, so that + the egg + yogurt + pumpkin = heaps of protein and fiber. I only used a single tablespoon of brown sugar and the tiniest drizzle of maple syrup, so this recipe is low in sugar too (no mid-morning crash!). The pumpkin cream, which is simply pumpkin greek yogurt and some spices, makes this french toast an over-the-top comfort food breakfast perfect for the holiday season without the guilt. Doesn’t get any better than that, folks!

Dancing for Donuts | Skinny Pumpkin Cream Stuffed French Toast (For One!)

Skinny Pumpkin Cream Stuffed French Toast (For One!)

2 pieces of Ezekiel sprouted bread (or your favorite whole grain kind)

1 egg

1/8 cup pumpkin puree

1/4 cup 1% or non-fat milk (could sub almond or coconut)

1/2 tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground ginger

3 tbsp. pumpkin greek yogurt (store bought or mix plain w/ pumpkin)

  1. In a bowl with a wide, flat bottom (I used a small pyrex dish!), whisk together the egg, pumpkin, milk, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and ginger.

2. Heat a skillet on low and spray with PAM or coat with melted butter.

3.While the pan is heating, drop one piece of bread into the batter. After coating both sides of the bread completely, which will take about a minute per side, drop it onto the pan.

4. Cook on medium-low until light brown, or about 2 minutes on each side. Prep the other slice of bread in the batter while the first is cooking.

5. When the first slice is done, place the second slice on the pan. Add 2 tbsp of the pumpkin greek yogurt to the top of the bread and spread a thin layer. Add the second piece of bread on top once it is done cooking.

6. Top the 2nd slice with the remaining pumpkin yogurt, sprinkle with cinnamon and drizzle with maple syrup. Dig in!

Dancing for Donuts | Skinny Pumpkin Cream Stuffed French Toast (For One!)

Have a good weeeeeeeeek!

xo Jordan

One-Pot Guiltless Creamy Pumpkin Pasta.

Oh come on, you knew I had more pumpkin recipes up my sleeve! And don’t worry, they’re far from over either (:

Dancing for Donuts | Guiltless One-Pot Creamy Pumpkin Pasta

I first made this dish when I had my best    
friend over the night before Halloween and have legitimately been hooked ever since. Not only is this pasta so unbelievably easy to make (one-pot = fewer dishes = YAY), but it also tastes like actual fall in a bowl. It’s comfort food at its best, but packed with protein and fiber. And trust me, coming from someone who rarely eats pasta and thinks of it as someone of a cheat food, I’ve let myself eat this almost every day.

Dancing for Donuts | Guiltless One-Pot Creamy Pumpkin Pasta

Feel free to add more protein like chicken apple sausage (wait, totally doing that next week…), pack in some wilted kale, add some shredded mozzarella, or sub the pasta for a gluten-free kind. Making a giant batch means having leftovers for the week that you can switch up without getting bored, so you really can’t go wrong…

One-Pot Guiltless Creamy Pumpkin Pasta

(inspired by this recipe)

1 14oz box of whole wheat pasta (or your favorite)

4 1/2 cups water

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp kosher salt

3-5 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/4 cup pumpkin puree

1 cup or 1 single-serving non-fat plain greek yogurt

1/2 cup shaved parmesan cheese + more for garnish

2+ tsp nutmeg and/or cinnamon to taste (based on your preferences!)

5-7 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped

sea salt + pepper to taste

  1. In a large pot, place the pasta, water, olive oil, garlic, salt and black pepper and bring to a full boil. Stir the pasta frequently to prevent it from sticking.

2. After about 10 minutes, the pasta should be al dente. Remove from heat and if there is still a lot of water, pour some out leaving just a thin layer of water remaining on the bottom of the pot.

3. Add the pumpkin puree, greek yogurt, parmesan, sage, spices and salt and stir until well-combined. Serve in bowls with more parmesan, spices and sage if desired. This dish stores well in an airtight container in the fridge, too!

Dancing for Donuts | Guiltless One-Pot Creamy Pumpkin Pasta

Enjoy, friends! See you soon.

xo Jordan