Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Engine 2’s Macaroni & Not Cheese

Rip Esselstyn, former professional triathlete and firefighter, created The Engine 2 Diet, a plan of action for a heart-healthy, plant-strong diet. As the weather cools off, many of us start craving comfort food. One of my favorite meals growing up was a plate of frozen Stouffer’s macaroni and cheese, which I’d make myself whenever my parents went out to dinner. After cooking it in the oven for 30 minutes, I’d excitedly pull a stool up to our horseshoe-shaped kitchen island and dig in while watching my favorite television program: The Wild, Wild West. Pure decadence.

I now recommend this PlantStrong alternative instead — and keeping the television off! This Engine 2 Mac & Not Cheese can fill the void for old comfort food cravings. The cashews and lemon juice combine to provide a creaminess that you might not expect from a dairy-free dish. And the nutritional yeast will surprise you with its undertone of cheese flavor.

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup cashews
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 4-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 16 ounces whole grain elbow pasta, cooked
  • Recommended addition: 365 Everyday Value frozen peas

Preheat oven to 425°F. Sauté the onion over medium heat in a nonstick skillet for 5 minutes, until translucent. In a food processer, combine onion, cashews, lemon juice, water and salt. Gradually blend in the roasted red peppers, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and onion powder.

Thoroughly toss the sauce with the pasta. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until golden brown on top.

For more information about the benefits of living plant-strong, or to learn more about my 28 Day Health Opportunity, visit Engine2Diet.com.