Makes 4 servings. Total time: 35 mins
There's a funny back story to this recipe. For those who don't know, I used to be a bit of a party girl. I LOVED my sugary coolers and spent way too many nights per week partying until the wee hours. Oh, to be young and carefree again! Life was pretty crazy back then but there was always one constant: Late-night beefaroni with my girlfriends back at my place!
Obviously the original version was made from the 'real stuff' (Kraft Dinner!) and I cringe just thinking about the quality of beef I used to buy on my 'still paying off student loans while living in the big city budget', but damn - it was honestly the perfect munchies for after the bar to soak up all that extra curricular activity. We were truly obsessed!
With my party girl days (mostly) behind me, I decided to recreate this classic in a healthier form for consumption at normal meal times, with or without a cocktail. ;) This healthy beefaroni boasts chickpea based gluten-free noodles with grass-fed local beef and broccolini for some veggie lovin', smothered in a vegan cashew cheese sauce courtesy of one of my favourite vegan bloggers, Oh She Glows. Honestly, it's divine - and not only because I get all nostalgic when I eat it (though I definitely do!) It's creamy, cheesy, salty, a little spicy and oh so comforting. The perfect bowl of noodles to cozy up with as the air outside gets chillier.
What you need to make it:
GF noodles of choice
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb grass fed lean ground beef
1 large yellow onion
2 bunches of broccolini or 1 head broccoli
Vegan cheese sauce recipe, courtesy of @Oh She Glows:
1/4 cup raw cashews
1 1/4 cups peeled and diced yellow
1/2 cup peeled and diced carrots
3 to 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 1/2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
2 medium garlic clove, peeled
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon white wine vinegar, to taste
Franks Red Hot or Siracha to taste (optional)
What to do to make it:
Set beef on counter so it can come to room temperature.
Boil water and pour over cashews in a small bowl. Let soak for 30 mins.
Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil on medium-low heat in a cast iron skillet.
Dice your onion and add to skillet. Saute until translucent, then add beef.
Cook beef through until no longer pink- about 10 mins. Then remove from skillet and set beef aside.
Remove stems from broccoli and then add to cast iron skillet. Cook through, about 10-mins.
While broccoli cooks, add potatoes and carrots to a small pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes until fork tender. Drain.
Cook your pasta at the same time as potatoes and carrots.
Drain and rinse cashews after 30 mins and throw them into your blender.
Add all cheese sauce ingredients except hot sauce to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. If the mixture is too thick, add a splash of water or oil.
Once your pasta is cooked and drained, add in beef and onions and pour cheese sauce over top. I did my broccolini on the side but it's equally delicious mixed in with the beef and cheese sauce!
I hope you love it as much as me and my girlfriends did way back when! If you decide to make this recipe, please tag me on Instagram @yourbestlifewithlisa!
- Lisa xx