A Day of Firsts

Creamy, vegan mac n’ cheese…overnight oats…and fantastic hospital food??

It all started last night with this first:

I will go ahead and say this is by far the BEST mac n’ cheese I’ve ever had!

I saw the recipe on Ashley’s blog (inspired by Angela’s blog) about a week ago and since she could photograph a stick and make it look tasty, you can imagine the drool fest transpired afterwards!

The recipe I’m about to post is a result similar to playing the game Telephone…the more people that interpret the message, the more it gets translated into something else! So I guess you could call this an adaptation of an adaptation! I also halved the recipe since it’s just little ol’ me here to eat it!

Creamy Vegan Mac’ n Cheese: (makes 2-3 servings)

  • 1/2 an onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast (aka nooch)
  • 3/4 cup raw, unsalted cashews
  • 1/8 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp mustard
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 Tbsp Earth Balance (vegan butter substitute)
  • 1 large + 1 small garlic clove
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning (salt free)
  • 1/4 tsp dried rosemary
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 12 ounces macaroni
  • 1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
  • paprika to garnish (optional), I used smoked paprika



1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
2. Cook macaroni according to package instructions to al-dente (do not overcook). Rinse       pasta in cold water to stop cooking process.
3. Combine onion and broccoli in a medium sized pot and add just enough water to come       up about an inch. Cover and steam until tender and broccoli is bright green (and                 purdy!)
4. While the veggies are steaming, combine nutritional yeast, cashews, lemon juice,                 mustard, milk, butter, garlic, and spices in a food processor (or blender) and blend             until smooth.
5. Drain veggies and add to creamy “cheese” sauce and process until smooth.
6. Combine sauce and pasta in a medium sized bowl and stir until pasta is coated                     thoroughly.
7. Pour into a casserole dish, sprinkle with paprika (if using) and bread crumbs and bake       for 30 minutes.

Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before devouring serving!

This obviously isn’t your typical gooey cheesy macaroni. Ashley described it as a noodle casserole with a sauce similar to alfredo. I would describe it as that, but also with the earthy flavorings of your favorite cornbread dressing! It was absolutely amazing…and super filling thanks to all the good-for-you fats and protein!

I just warmed up a bowl of the leftovers for dinner (easy reheat: combine with 1-2 Tbsp of almond milk in a pot and cook on medium until heated through) and I think I changed my mind, this is definitely THREE servings! I made two out of it and I am so STUFFED! I will be making this again in the near future, no doubt about that!

Note: I did NOT finish this!

My second first: Overnight Oats

I have seen these all over the place in the blog world with all types of toppings and they’ve always looked tasty, but I would never remember to put it together until I woke up the next morning…yeah, a little late on that one!

Last night, I finally remembered BEFORE bed!

In the mix:

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • a splash of vanilla extract
  • 5.3 oz. container of Voskos blueberry Greek yogurt <–Awesome stuff!
  • 1/4 cup of frozen blueberries.

This morning when I fell out of bed woke up to greet a new day, I added a handful of these:


I saw Allie with some of these and I just HAD to get them for myself! They’re incredible!

I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about cold oats for breakfast, especially with the freezing temps outside, but I totally forgot about the December weather with my first bite. Two of my favorite breakfasts, oats and yogurt parfaits, mixed into one amazing bowl! Way better than cold cereal! I am so making another one tomorrow!

What do you think of my tablecloth? I got these to match! Love ’em!

And the third and final first of the day: amazing hospital food! I know, it’s sounds like an oxymoron, but let me explain.

First of all, unless I am desperate…and I mean DESPERATE, I never eat in the cafeteria at work. It’s full of overcooked veggies, dry, tasteless meat, and deep-fried garbage (don’t get me started on my feelings toward the menu options at a facility that is supposed to promote health and wellness).

Today was the ONLY exception. Once a year, the hospital serves the Holiday Meal. I’m not sure who actually cooks the food – if I ever find out those cafeteria workers can truly cook and they’re holding out, there will be some explaining to do – but it is never disappointing. There is always so much to choose from that I HAVE to have a sample of everything. Let my tray serve as evidence:

Clockwise from top left: Poppy seed bread, chocolate marble pound cake, and a barely seen sliver of fruit cake, D’anjou pear, cream puffs and cookies, ambrosia salad and cranberry gelatin dessert, dinner plate: herb-roasted new potatoes, green beans, carrots, chicken cordon bleu on top of wild rice, roast beef, and a cheddar broccoli rice casserole.

Not a single complaint about ANYTHING and you better believe I polished off that entire tray (except the pear that I saved for later).

I’ve had a pretty good day of foodie firsts, but I better head to bed soon. We’re having a Christmas potluck at work tomorrow that my department is hosting. I put myself in charge of decorations and went a little crazy at the Everything’s a Dollar store (that place is INSANE when it comes to Christmas stuff!). Can’t wait to share the pics with you guys tomorrow!


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9 Responses to A Day of Firsts

  1. Ashley says:

    Ohhh my gosh, too funny!! I just made this again last night with MAJOR modifications and it was excellent. I’m posting it right now. 🙂 So glad you enjoyed it…man is it delicious and tastes so indulgent! Thanks for linking!

  2. That mac and cheeze looks dreamy… I keep forgetting to pick up cashews, doh!! 🙂

  3. oh wow that mac n cheese looks divine!! i just got some noosh too! perfect 🙂

  4. jen says:

    That mac&cheese looks SO good! Question, where in the world do you nooch? I’ve never been brave enough to try overnight oats, but I think you just inspired me!!! Your holiday dinner looks SO good!!!
    Have a great weekend 🙂


    • Thanks Jen! I found my nooch at a little vitamin store here in Clarksville, but I’ve heard that you can get it at Whole Foods and of course online.

      You should definitely try some overnight oats! I made another bowl for this morning with strawberry Greek yogurt and added sliced bananas and granola before eating…delish!

  5. Babygirl says:

    I definitely have to try this recipe.. it looks yummy

  6. Pingback: A Return to Normalcy | Purple Bird Blog

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