One of my favorite non-cheese cheese dishes (can I say that?) is mac & cheese. I am absolutely astonished at the number of ways that this dish can be prepared without using a single ounce of dairy, but can still taste incredibly filling and delicious. My two favorite ingredients to use are cauliflower and cashews and today’s recipe blends cashew cream, cauliflower, marinated mushrooms and a tiny bit of liquid smoke to add that extra special zing to it. YUM!

Smoky Mac and Cheese [Vegan, Gluten-Free]





Cauliflower Cashew Cream:
  • ¾ cup cashews
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon grated turmeric (optional but awesome)
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 small head of cauliflower
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups mushrooms of your choice
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup organic GF soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 16 oz package of gluten-free pasta
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • salt and pepper
  • scallions or chives for garnish (optional)
Vegan Parmesan:
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon himalayan sea salt


  1. Cut mushrooms into small pieces and add to a bowl with balsamic vinegar and tamari. Let marinate for 2-3 hours, stirring frequently to make sure mushrooms are evenly marinated.
  2. To make the cauliflower cashew cream, first soak the cashews overnight or for at least 4 hours.
  3. Rinse and add all ingredients to blender except for cauliflower and coconut milk. Blend until you have a smooth cream, add more water if it needs thinning, the consistency should be of yogurt. Pour into bowl and set aside.
  4. Add enough water to bottom of pot to fill about 2 inches and turn to high heat. Cut cauliflower into florets and place in steamer basket and lower into pot and cover. Steam until cauliflower begins to get soft, approx 7 min. Let cool.Once cauliflower is cool, Add to food processor along with the coconut milk and process until cauliflower is smooth with no lumps. Set aside.
  5. Chop onion and mince garlic add to pan. Sautee until onions become translucent, then add mushrooms, salt and pepper. Sautee for approx 8 minutes then set aside.
  6. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to directions on package, Rinse with cold water.
  7. Add the cashew cream, cauliflower, mushrooms and liquid smoke to the pasta and mix well. Taste to see if any additional salt/pepper is needed.
  8. Heat a pan on medium heat (with no oil) and add pine nuts. When nuts start to get brown, remove and let cool for a couple of minutes. Add to food processor along with nutritional yeast and salt, and grind for a few seconds only- until consistency of parmesan cheese is achieved.
  9. Transfer mac and cheese to glass baking dish and top with vegan parmesan cheese and bake at 375F/200C for approx 10 mins or until top begins to brown.
  10. Garnish with chives or scallions (optional)


This recipe is gluten-free with the selection of a gluten-free pasta!