One of the most difficult things about living with food allergies is that you often have to give up many beloved foods.
Upon learning I had several food allergies a few years ago, I’ve experimented a lot in the kitchen to recreate some of my favorite dishes.
This one steals the show every time—even for those who love their gluten and dairy.
16 oz. gluten-free pasta shells
5 tablespoons vegan butter
¼ cup brown rice flour
3 cups almond milk
1 tablespoon whole grain-mustard
2 teaspoons sea-salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
¾ teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
12 oz. vegan cheddar-style cheese (I used Daiya)
2 tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons raw almonds
2 tablespoons raw pecans
2 tablespoons unsweetened, shredded coconut
1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Place two tablespoons vegan butter in a one-quart casserole dish and place in the oven for about five minutes, or until melted. Remove dish from oven and turn dish to coat all sides with melted butter.
2. In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, heat almond milk. Melt remaining three tablespoons vegan butter in a medium saucepan. When butter is melted and begins to bubble, add brown rice flour and whisk until combined about one minute.
3. Slowly pour warmed almond milk into the rice flour and vegan butter mixture, whisking thoroughly. Add mustard.
4. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture becomes frothy, bubbly and thick.
5. Once the sauce base is combined, remove pan from the heat and stir in salt, paprika, garlic powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper and vegan cheese. Set aside.
6. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add gluten-free shells and cook according to package directions.
7. Using a colander, drain pasta and rinse under cold water. Stir into the cheese sauce. Pour pasta and cheese into prepared casserole dish.
8. In a food processor, pulse pumpkin seeds, almonds, pecans and coconut until finely ground. Sprinkle ground mixture on top of pasta and cheese.
9. Bake pasta, until browned on top, about 30 minutes. Transfer dish to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes; serve.
Author: Stephanie Burg
Editor: Travis May
Photo: by Martin