Twice Baked Macaroni and Cheese

I shared this recipe with Paleo Parents and it was featured on their blog this week!  Paleo Parents is a blog written by Stacy and her husband Matt.  Stacy is someone I admire because she has been through a weightloss journey and understands the importance of fueling your body with all natural ingredients…oh and maybe because we share the same name.

When I started my Paleo lifestyle journey, I thought I would never have macaroni and cheese again.  Needless to say, my mother did tell me, “Never say never”.  For those who thought they too could never have Macaroni and Cheese again, welcome to my happy world of Paleo food!  I have made this dish for many group parties and people are amazed when they learn the dish is free of gluten and dairy.    This recipe does take some time and planning, but the end result will have your taste buds drooling and licking the spoon until the last bite!

My Twice Baked Macaroni and Cheese dish is easy to make!  For the noodles, spaghetti squash is baked in the oven and scraped to thin spaghetti shreds.  The cheese sauce is created through soaked cashews and nutritional yeast.  Soaking cashews can happen two different ways.  When on a time crunch and need it done quickly, cashews can soak in bowling water for 10 minutes.  I prefer soaking the cashews for a minimum of four hours in room temperature water.  Soaking the cashews breaks down the nut and allows it to become creamy when pureed in a blender.  The nutritional yeast is not your standard baking yeast.  Nutritional yeast is large yellow flakes packed full of vitamin B nutrients.  When you combine all the ingredients in a dish and bake them together, those consuming it will not believe it is an all-natural healthy dish!

Twice baked macaroni and cheese (1)

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Warm Crab and Artichoke Dip

When Stacy and Matt over at Paleo Parents mentioned a Cheesecake Factory Paleo Recreation Round-Up, I got very excited (link to the round-up will be posted soon)!!  I love visiting The Cheesecake Factory!  It is a treat because we do not have one locally.  When we do visit, we often get guacamole with cucumber slices as an appetizer and Chicken Lettuce Wrap Tacos.  Many of the items on their menu contain gluten or dairy which we avoid.  However, I have taken their Warm Crab and Artichoke Dip and made it dairy free and Paleo friendly!  This recipe is easy to make and enjoyed by everyone!

This recipe does need a little planning.  You will need to soak the cashews in water for 4 hours before making the dip.  This will cause the cashews to become more nutrient and have a creamy texture.

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Vanilla Cashew Frosting

Some deserts need a frosting.  Occasionally I will create my cashew frosting to go on top of my favorite desert.  It is an easy frosting and I love one container creations!  Only issue I run into when creating Vanilla Cashew Frosting, is you need to plan ahead and soak the cashews.  Soaking cashews allow the nut to break down and it provides an amazing creamy consistency.  This is all created inside my Vitamix blender container.

CashewFrosting

Vanilla Cashew Frosting

Ingredients
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1 cup cashews (soaked for 12 hours)
1 TBL lemon juice
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 TBL vanilla
1/3 cup cashew soaked water
3 TBL coconut oil
1/4 cup coconut cream
 
Directions
Combine all ingredients and blend on high for 3 minutes in your Vitamix.

Paleo Cookie Dough For Fall

Ever have a sweet craving?  I occasionally get them and this recipe is AMAZING for them.  It is also a great desert to share with others whom are not Paleo eaters.  I would recommend only eating 1 or 2 in a day.  They are high in natural sugar, but still…sugar is sugar!

Also, if you have never used dates before.  They do have pits inside them when you buy them fresh.  You will want to remove the pits before putting them in the food processor.

CookieDoughFall

Paleo Cookie Dough

Ingredients
1 cups cashews
1/4 cup almond flour
1 cup fresh dates
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
 
Directions:
1.  Place the cashews in a food processor and pulse until finally ground.
2.  Add almond flour, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg in with cashews in the food processor.
3.  Place the dates into the food processor mixture and pulse.  Continue to pulse the mixture until it is well blended.
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4.  Add the vanilla and 1/2 cup coconut  and pulse one last time to mix it all up.
5.  Take the remaining 1/4 cup coconut and place in a bowl.  
6.  Using a TBL or cookie scoop, scoop out the mixture one at a time and roll into a ball.  Then roll the balls into the coconut mixture. 
 

This mixture makes between 18-22 balls.

 

Remember….Sharing is Caring!

 

Paleo Macaroni and Cheese

As a child, I loved Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.  This was my mother’s favorite go-to item for babysitters and I certainly never complained about it!  However, since going Paleo I have missed cheese noodles.  This got my head thinking about creating a safe Paleo macaroni and cheese.  One that would not upset my tummy and fuel my body.  One of my new favorite activities is to soak cashews.  They create a creamy texture, I just wish cashews were cheaper!  When soaking cashews make sure you pick up a bag of raw cashews.

Paleo Macaroni and Cheese

Paleo Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients:
1/8 tsp dry mustard
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 TBL nutritional yeast
1/2 lemon juice
3/4 cup soaked raw cashews (soaked for 4 hours)
1/3 cup water from soaked cashews
1 spaghetti squash
 
Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2.  Cook whole spaghetti squash in the microwave for 10 minutes.  Make sure you poke holes into the squash, otherwise you may have an explosion.  Then allow squash to sit for 5 minutes and continue cooking.
3.  While squash is cooking, throw all the other ingredients in a blender.  Blend until all items are smooth.
4.  Once squash in ready, cut in half.  Take out the seeds and middle.  Then shred spaghetti (I use a fork) into a 2 1/2 quart glass container. 
5.  Pour the cheese sauce from the blender over the spaghetti noodles.  Gently mix the ingredients together.  Do not create a mush.
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6.  Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
 
Update:
If you want to take this recipe one step further…take four slices of bacon and cook until nice and crisp.  Remove bacon from the pan and add in 1 thinly sliced leek in the bacon grease.  Allow the onions to cook.  Then remove from heat.  Crunch up the bacon into small pieces and place in the Macaroni and Cheese bowl, with the leeks.  Make sure the bacon and leeks are stirred into the mixture before baking.
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*This is great served with Applegate hotdogs.  I just found a new nitrate-free chicken brat company at the health food store and served it with my Mac and Cheese today.

 

Remember: Sharing is caring!  If you like this recipe, please share with others (click on a widget below)!!!  I watch which recipes get shared the most to decide my creations.  FYI: Chocolate is a HUGE favorite ingredient for the Paleo Gone Sassy followers!!

 

Paleo Queso Dip (Dairy Free)

Last night I hosted a movie night with some of my girls.  The only requirement for movie night was yoga pant attire.  I have missed the yoga pants being back at work, they seemed to have consumed my summer wardrobe!  Anyways…moving onto the food.  I wanted to create some ‘junk food’ but be able to eat it.  So I created the Paleo Queso Dip.  The queso was made with cashews.  If you have not experimented with soaking cashews and then blending them, it makes an amazing creamy goodness.  Let’s be honest, what really is in the block of thick yellow cheese we buy at the store to make queso?!?!

I served the Paleo queso dip and told them to be honest with the texture and taste.  They all agreed it was great (they went back for seconds).  This would be served great over chicken or with Mexican food.  I’m going to use pepper slices today to eat the bit of leftovers I have (this is a dish you eat until the last drop).

The ingredients call for nutritional yeast, this is different from yeast you buy in little packets at the store.  I buy my nutritional yeast in bulk at my local Co-Op.  Nutritional yeast is packed with vitamin B and gives a nutty/cheesy taste to meals.  Nutritional yeast is very inexpensive and an easy way to get a cheesy taste without the dairy.

 

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