Our Favorite way to top-up Glycogen {MAC N CHEESE}

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I recently read an article in Trail Runner Magazine (online here) by coach David Roche about the importance of healthy carbohydrates in our diet.

As ultra runners, runners or any endurance athlete for that matter, he talks about how carbohydrates are essential to replenish glycogen, and how glycogen is the stuff that allows us to perform at a high level.

He gave some great suggestions for how to ensure we top-up our glycogen before races and on a regular basis, i’m not going to repeat it because you should just give it a quick read for yourself. 

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One of the most common, practical, cheap and easy ways us runners like to do this is PASTA.

Oh pasta! I think many runners have a very unhealthy relationship to pasta and carbs, and maybe after reading his article it will help settle your mind.

But what I think is really important is not that you just eat a bunch of carbohydrates, but that when you do - they are not crap ones or covered in unhealthy/fatty sauces.

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This is where this recipe comes in.. I LOVE Mac n cheese, and I always have considered it a comfort food, but now that I eat healthy/plant-based I have been experimenting to find that perfect recipe…until NOW!

Here is my healthiest and most delicious Dairy-Free Mac n Cheese that allows you to carb-load not only with Pasta- but with whole-foods like Potatoes, cauliflower, carrots and broccoli! (all of which also are packed with vitamins, minerals and even protein!)

Top it off with the healthy fats+omega-3s and protein in the cashews and you got yourself a complete well rounded meal!

It is simple and quick - requiring a blender and a big pot, pasta, some veggies and the all mighty nutritional yeast! 

This stuff is the best!

Wondering what Nutritional Yeast is? It is a completely plant-based, healthy and wholesome food that adds cheesy flavors to anything! We buy ours online here:

We just made this recipe last weekend before Gwen’s long run for his Ginger Runner Virtual Run (GRVR), and it worked wonders at topping up his glycogen and providing lasting fuel for his day!

More about ingredients and where to find them at the bottom of this post


 RECIPE for our Mac N Cheese!

  • Serves 4
  • Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
  • Cook time: 20-30 minutes - Total Time 30-40 minutes
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INGREDIENTS:

  • 16oz Pasta of choice (macaroni, spiral, etc - whole wheat, gluten-free, etc)
  • 1/2 medium head Cauliflower, chopped roughly (about 3 cups)
  • 2 large Potatoes, chopped into cubes (we mix golden and/or red)
  • 2 large Carrots, chopped roughly
  • 1/2 yellow Onion, chopped roughly
  • 1/2 cup raw Cashews
  • 2/3 cups unsweetened Plant-milk (non-dairy) milk of choice
  • 1/2 - 1 cup Nutritional yeast (depending on how much you love it)
  • 1 teaspoon Onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic powder
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika (or regular sweet paprika)
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon ground Black pepper
  • 1 -2 teaspoons Sea Salt, to taste (salt makes it cheese like)
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard powder (optional)
  • 2-4 cups Broccoli, chopped

INSTRUCTIONS:

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Cook pasta according to package, drain and set aside.

While pasta is cooking, ll a medium pot with water and bring to a boil.

Add chopped cauliflower, potatoes, carrots and onion to the boiling water, reduce to medium heat, cooking about 10-15 minutes until tender and soft. 

Drain the veggies and transfer to a high-speed blender. Add the cashews, plant-milk and all the remaining spices & seasonings (nutritional yeast through salt) to the blender and blend everything together until creamy and smooth. 

Taste it and add a touch more salt if you think it needs it.
This is your creamy, oil-free, super healthy “cheezy” sauce! Get creative with it, adding spices that you love! 

Mix cheeze sauce and drained cooked pasta together in large pot and warm over low-heat while you steam the broccoli. 

Next, steam the chopped broccoli in a sauce pan with a steaming rack until soft, remove from heat. Mix in the steamed broccoli to your heated Mac&Cheeze or serve it and garnish with the broccoli on top! This is also good with all sorts of steamed veggies and greens so explore the options! 

This recipe has endless possibilities and is an amazing way to eat more healthy vegetables while getting in super essential carbohydrates to replenish glycogen and fuel tomorrow.

For variety we sometimes add: peas, coconut bacon, tempeh and all sorts of plant-based healthy goodies!

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Hope you love it,

If you make it please let us know, tag us on instagram or send us an email with a photo!


If you like this you will love our COOKBOOK! 

Each purchase of the cookbook really matters and helps us eat! :)


No need to buy whole cashews, the pieces are cheaper and do the same thing! But RAW is important!

Raw Cashews can be hard to find and expensive, so we buy them in bulk on Amazon!


This is an insane deal, we use exactly this product. 2 lbs for this price of organic turmeric is a steal! Perfect for this recope, and we also add 1 tsp to every smoothie, every day!

TURMERIC: