If you are baked pasta lover, but trying to avoid grains or simply want to include more vegetables into your diet, this Grain Free Mac and Cheese recipe is perfect for you!! Instead of using traditional gluten free pasta, this recipe features Kelp Noodles!
Never heard of kelp? It’s a type of seaweed, whose jelly-like extract is combined with water and salt to create semi-transparent noodles that can stick together without the addition of any grain flour nor starch.
Kelp noodles can be found sold in many health food stores or online (I linked the brand I used in the recipe card below). They have a crunchy texture and can be eaten raw, but in my opinion, they taste much better (and more like actual pasta) if you cook them and add some delicious toppings on them, just like I did to prepare this grain free Mac and Cheese dish.
The “cheese” sauce I created to season this grain free Mac and Cheese is also suitable for everyone, since it’s dairy free, vegan and full of nutrients! Can you believe I snuck a whole bag of cauliflower rice in there?!
I think that the way this Vegan, Gluten Free Almond Cake turned out together with its presentation is absolutely fantastic. I prepared it on a Sunday for a family lunch and they were in heaven!
They had no idea that it was allergy free and had no refined sugar until I told them. Even still, they didn’t believe me. I hope that this recipe brings your family the same joy as it brought mine.
How To Make Kelp Noodles Taste Like Real Pasta:
If you are not a fan of the typical, crunchy texture of kelp noodles, here’s a quick fix.
- Soak the noodles in a bowl with warm water, 1 tbsp of lemon juice and ½ a tsp of salt for about 30 minutes before preparing them.
- Once soaked, boil the noodles like described in the recipe card below. These two tips will do a wonderful job in softening the noodles to perfection and making them taste just like regular pasta for this grain free Mac and Cheese.
Grain Free Mac and Cheese (AIP, GF, DF, Vegan)
- 12 oz Kelp Noodles (1 bag)
For the “Cheese” Sauce:
- 1 ½ tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 sprig Rosemary
- 1 Shallot small, thinly chopped
- 12 oz bag Frozen Cauliflower Rice (1 bag), fresh or frozen
- ¼ tsp Turmeric
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1/3 cup Stock of choice
- 4 tbsp full fat Coconut Milk
- 1 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
For the Toppings:
- ¼ tsp Dried Basil
- ¼ tsp Nutritional Yeast flakes
- if you are not a fan of the typical crunchy texture of kelp noodles, make sure to read the NOTE at the end of this recipe card. I share a tip that will make them teste like regular pasta. If you don't mind them being a little crunchy, start from the next step.
- Thoroughly rinse your kelp noodles under running water, place them in a small pot, cover them with water and cook them over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Turn off the burner and let them sit in boiling water for 10 more minutes before straining.
- In the meantime, prepare the sauce by heating up the olive oil in a medium size saucepan together with the chopped shallot and the whole sprig of rosemary to season the oil.
- When it starts to sizzle, add in the cauliflower rice, turmeric and salt and coconut milk and mix well. Let it cook on medium heat with a lid on for about 8 minutes and add the chicken stock little by little when needed, mixing well.
- Transfer the cauliflower mixture in a high speed blender, add in the nutritional yeast and process until you have a smooth and creamy sauce.
- Season your kelp noodles with the cauliflower “Mac ‘n Cheese” sauce (if you have too much of it, set some aside for later), transfer them in a casserole dish and sprinkle some dried basil and nutritional yeast flakes on top.
- You can either enjoy the dish right away let it gratin in the oven for about 5 minutes for a more indulgent taste.
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Lots of love from Italy and I will catch you at the next recipe!