Pulse News Mexico photo/Kristy Chong

By KRISTY CHONG

Avocado White Cheddar Mac and Cheese

A lightened up version of a comfort food favorite, this mac and cheese flaunts all the full flavor and creaminess of the OG dish, but is more nutritious. subbing avocado for the milk and butter.

I have family members who are lactose intolerant who I love cooking for. One of the main reasons why I love this dish is because the combination of the avocado with the sharp white cheddar provides a smooth creamy base texture.

Sharp cheddar cheese has trace levels of only 0.5g of lactose, making it suitable for anyone who is trying to avoid large amounts of dairy intake. In fact, the Cabot Creamery brand I used in the recipe is completely lactose-free bought from Sam’s Club.

Natural aged cheeses, such as sharp white cheddar, Parmesan and Swiss, can be digested by many people who are lactose intolerant. A rule of thumb I like to keep in mind when looking for cheeses that have lower levels of lactose in them is the fresher the cheese, the more lactose it will contain. The more aged the cheese is, the lower level of lactose the cheese will contain.

A few other cheeses that our lactose intolerant friends can enjoy in moderation include:

    • Muenster 0-.01% lactose
    • Brie 0-2% lactose
    • Aged Parmesan  0-1% lactose
    • Sharp cheddar 0-2% lactose
    • Provolone 0-2% lactose
    • Swiss 1-2% lactose

How to Make Avocado White Cheddar Mac and Cheese:

Boil enough water for two cups of pasta noodles. I used elbow chickpea pasta, but feel free to use your favorite kind of dried pasta (or you can homemake yours, if you’re super fancy!)

Pulse News Mexico photo/Kristy Chong

Next, microwave your almond milk for one minute in the microwave and pour into your food processor. Toss the rest of the avocado cheddar sauce ingredients into the bowl of your food processor or high powered blender.

Blend for about one minute, until completely smooth.

In a large mixing bowl, combine cooked pasta and pour in avocado cheddar sauce. Mix until pasta is fully coated with sauce.

Garnish with fresh basil and extra chili powder for an extra kick. Enjoy!

Equipment

    • saucepan
    • food processor

Ingredients

Pasta

    • 1 cup pasta of choice (I love using chickpea pasta or brown rice pasta!)

Avocado White Cheddar Sauce

    • 1 cup almond milk, heated in the microwave for one minute
    • 2 avocados
    • 1 cup sharp white cheddar cheese
    • ½ cup fresh basil (optional but this makes this dish taste INCREDIBLE + more for garnishing)
    • 1 lemon, juiced
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • 2 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp chili powder
Pulse News Mexico photo/Kristy Chong

Instructions

Pasta

    1. Cook pasta of choice in a large saucepan, drain and place back into the saucepan to warm.

Avocado Cheese Sauce Assembly

    1. Heat almond milk in the microwave for one minute.
    2. Combine the rest of your ingredients for the avocado cheese sauce in the bowl of your food processor or high powered blender and pulse until completely smooth, about one to two minutes. If the sauce is too thick, add a couple more tablespoons of milk.
    3. Season with salt and pepper to taste. I like mine a bit more salty and spicy, so I add in an extra teaspoon of salt and chili powder.
    4. Pour avocado cheese sauce over cooked pasta and toss to coat. I prefer this dish warm, so I do not reheat the pasta. If you feel like the pasta is too cool. feel free to stir on low heat until you reach your desired consumption temperature.
    5. Garnish with extra basil and chili powder. Enjoy!
Pulse News Mexico photo/Kristy Chong

Notes:

Vegan Substitutions:

    • If you are looking for a completely vegan dish, you can easily substitute the white cheddar for 1 cup of soaked cashews and throw them in your food processor in place of the white cheddar.
    • To prepare cashews, soak in hot water for 30 minutes prior to blending up the rest of your ingredients. The longer you soak your cashews the smoother the sauce will be.

Storage:

    • This recipe will stay fresh for three days and freezes well for up to one month. Simply thaw the pasta in your fridge the night before, and heat in the microwave. Of course, discoloration may occur due to the oxidation of the avocado, but if you plan on making this beforehand, I would recommend squeezing a couple teaspoons of lemon juice over your dish and mixing it up before serving. Otherwise, I would highly recommend serving and enjoying immediately.

KRISTY CHONG is a self-taught home baker and cook with a background in documentary photography. She currently lives in Baltimore, Maryland, where she works out of her home studio creating food, developing recipes and styling photo shoots. Her recipes are inspired by her travels as well as culinary traditions brought on by friends and family. Her culinary mantra is to make recipes that inspire confidence in the kitchen and to make foods that are mostly nutritious, but always delicious. You can check out more of her recipes on her blog or on her Instagram page.

…Sept. 21, 2020

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