So we are still settling in to our new home, but it was time to have people over. We just started attending a cool new church and decided to invite a couple we had connected with. We invited others too, but that dreaded flu virus got ’em. Bummer! So we got to have a one on one dinner with a rad couple and their cutie little babe too.
The hubby and Little Girl are NOT big eaters. When we go out I order an adult meal and they split a kid’s meal. No lie. They don’t really like food. Weirdos, I know. But this means that when we have guests I get to go all out and make a big family dinner. I actually really enjoy cooking so this is great. We like to host big dinners about once a week and this was the inaugural dinner for this new rental house. I was so excited!
The hubby and I are staying away from dairy and sweets. So I hit up Smart & Final because I love their fresh produce selection. They are having a huge sale right now on La Romanella pasta products. Can’t beat those prices!
Since we are trying to eat healthy I decided to make a vegan mac’n’cheese and a big salad. I also grabbed some of these delicious cookies to top of the meal… chocolate chip cookies are like a weakness to me. Seriously. I had to give-up cookie dough last March. I cannot keep it in the house because I am addicted. Full disclosure: I still have a little on my Fro-Yo… but I only have Fro-Yo like 4 times a year, so I allow it. I do realize that my super healthy meal was topped off by a calorie-laden dessert o’sugar. I hated myself the next morning for that decision.
Anyhow, when I hit the register the checker told me that I could enter to win a trip to Vegas or $50 to Smart & Final because of my La Romanella purchase by entering my receipt number here: http://www.smartandfinal.com/LaRomanella2013/ before 03/05/13. So, I am hoping for the $50 because mama needs the money! (And for some reason, Vegas never seems to pay that well for me.)
Vegan Mac N Cheese… or as Little Girl says “Smack N Cheese”
original recipe by: Allison Rivers Sampson, Vegnews.com
4 tablespoons shallots, peeled and chopped
2 1/2 cups yellow potatoes, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup baby carrots, chopped
2/3 cup yellow onion, peeled and chopped
2 cup water
8 quarts water
1 tablespoon sea salt
16 ounces La Romanella Penne Pasta
2/3 cup raw cashews
5 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a 9″x9″ baking dish with coconut oil.
In a saucepan, add shallots, potatoes, carrots, onion, and water, and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and simmer for 15 minutes, or until vegetables are very soft.
While that is simmering, bring the water and salt to a boil in a stock pot. Add La Romanella Penne Pasta and cook until al dente (about 12 minutes). In a colander, drain pasta and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
In a blender or food processor, cream the cashews, salt, garlic, mustard, lemon juice, black pepper, and cayenne. Add softened vegetables and cooking water to that mix and process until perfectly smooth.
In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta and blended cheese sauce until completely coated. Spread mixture into the 9″ x 9″ casserole dish, sprinkle with breadcrumbs, and dust with paprika. Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese sauce is bubbling and the top has turned golden brown.
Can you tell that I am proud of my hard work?
Notice that I did not include a photo of myself scarfing down the cookies.
*Hangs head in shame*
Need some more dinner inspiration? Check out the Smart and Final Social Circular.
We totally enjoyed our dinner and our time together. It is so good to fellowship with new friends. I love having people over to dine in our home. It feels good to be able to do it again!
I think next time we get together it will be at Disneyland. (Did I tell you guys we got passes?)
Because what is better than family and the Happiest Place on Earth?
Do you want to go too?!
Enter below for your chance to win 4 Tickets to Disneyland!
Check out more Yummy Dinner ideas using La Romanella products:
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I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Smart & Final #CBias #ChooseSmart #SocialFabric. All opinions are my own.