We’ve all been there growing up asking the question “What’s for dinner?” and just like most kids I know I said “I don’t know” when my mom would respond asking me what I wanted. To which she would respond that we were out of that. Peanut butter and jelly on dry bread was another one of hers, but hey I would take pb&j anytime!! Other times when I would ask her she would say Popcorn Casserole. Yep here in Minnesota we have things like casseroles and hotdishes. What was Popcorn Casserole, well it was a bowl of popcorn. It didn’t happen often, usually after having a late lunch or early dinner, or when we weren’t really hungry. So now when my girls ask what’s for dinner sometimes I give them the same “Popcorn Casserole” answer. They would probably be happy with that but we need more. So to spice up good old mac n cheese I added popcorn! Pretty much the same as if you were to add bread crumbs to the top for crunch popcorn is a fun and gluten free option! Really wanting some vegan mac n cheese, I’m not sure why because I no longer am vegan but I crave that more than traditional mac n cheese I grew up with. Of course the craving hits when I don’t have any cashews soaked, which is the creamiest way to make a nutritional yeast cheese sauce. To the rescue… cashew meal! Yep you can make your own just grinding cashews or I had a bag on hand from Trader Joe’s. No need to soak the cashews just blend up cashew meal, almond milk, nutritional yeast, seasoning, and I like to add tumeric for a little color! Instead of just using sea salt popcorn I decided to have even more fun with the girls and top it with Quinn Kale & Sea Salt Popcorn telling them we needed to add some veggies! 😉
Did your mom ever give you a silly answer when you asked what’s for dinner? Do you have something fun you tell your kids?
Popcorn Mac N Cheese Casserole (vegan & gluten free)
Makes 4 servings
1c cashew meal (ground cashews)
3/4 c almond milk, or non dairy milk of choice (used So Delicious)
2 TBSP lemon juice
1/3 c nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, optional
2 tsp sea salt
8oz pasta noodles (use one of my favs, Garofalo gluten free corn, rice, and quinoa pasta)
2c popped popcorn of choice (use Quinn Kale & Sea Salt Popcorn this time)
Bring a pot of water to a boil. When the water is boiling add the noodles, turn heat to medium, and cook per your noodles package instructions. In the meantime in a Vitamix, or highspeed blender, blend cashew meal, almond milk, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, turmeric, cayenne, and sea salt until smooth. I like to use the soup setting on my Vitamix as it will also warm it. Once the noodles are cooked, drain, and return to the pot. Pour cheese sauce over top of the noodles and warm if needed. Divide mac n cheese between bowls and top with popcorn. Enjoy!
Linking up with some other great bloggers for Meatless Monday! Need more inspiration: