This week's 2nd Annual Mac and Cheeze Off gave us the idea to chop up some of our Hickory Smoked jerky and mix it into some vegan mac 'n cheese. The results were awesome and we can't recommend it enough! The jerky gets soft when added to cooked dishes, so you get this really awesome meaty texture.
This vegan recipe is vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free--the works! We used gluten-free rice and garbanzo macaroni for added protein, but any pasta will do.
1 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked at least 1 hour (best if overnight)
1/2 cup sweet potato, steamed
1/4 cup carrot, steamed
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup almond milk
3 tablespoons vegan butter
1 1/2-2 teaspoons sea salt
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 clove garlic
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
Elbow or shell pasta of choice
Hickory Smoked Snack Jack, sliced
freshly ground black pepper
Cook the pasta according to package directions and set aside. If using gluten-free, legume-based pasta, rinse with cool water.
While the pasta is cooking, combine the cashews, sweet potato, carrot, lemon juice, almond milk, vegan butter, salt, nutritional yeast, garlic, turmeric, cayenne (if using), and mustard in a high speed blender and blend until silky smooth. If the mixture is too thick, add a couple of tablespoons of water and blend again.
Once the pasta is tender, drain and rinse it, then return the pasta to the pot and stir in the cheese sauce and sliced Hickory Smoked Snack Jack. Cook for 2 minutes. Season with ground black pepper and serve!