I’ve been hearing from a lot of you lately that you need some tasty, dairy and gluten free recipes for kids. This one has been a GodSend in our home for years. We use gluten free pasta, but if you’re not gluten free you can use whatever you like! The cheese sauce is also yummy served over rice with broccoli, drizzled over burritos or your favorite Mexican dish. Thin it out as needed. Cut back on the Daiya if it’s too thick for your taste. Easy. Yummy. Comforting for the little ones who are just looking for the taste of something familiar.
Freedom Mac and Cheese
4 servings, 15-30 minutes from start to finish.
- 8 ounces pasta, any shape and gluten free if necessary
- 1 package Daiya cheddar style Shreds (about 2 cups)
- 1 tablespoon Earth Balance
- 2 cups unsweetened milk product of your choice (rice milk, hemp milk, coconut milk)
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional, but definitely helps cheesy flavor and boosts B12)
If you are baking the mac and cheese, here is a topper/crust idea:
- 3/4 cup gluten-free bread crumbs
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil or melted Earth Balance (to moisten and bind)
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ tsp ground pepper or to taste
- 1 tsp dried Italian herbs, optional
If you’re going to be baking the mac and cheese, preheat oven to 350°F.
Get your water boiling and cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
While pasta is cooking: Prepare the cheese sauce by warming the alternative milk, Earth Balance and Daiya. Over medium low heat, stir or whisk until cheese melts, then add the nutritional yeast and whisk to combine. If sauce is too thick for your liking just stream in a bit more of your milk choice and whisk to loosen the sauce. My kids like a thicker, creamier sauce… but we’ve gone up to 3 cups of liquid and gotten a nice, thinner consistency that is more like Kraft mac and cheese from the box mixes. Toss the cooked pasta with the creamy sauce and either transfer it to serving bowls or to a casserole dish (if you’re baking it).
For baked mac and cheese: Top with the bread crumbs and paprika. Bake for 15 minutes uncovered, or until the cheese is bubbling and top is starting to brown.
I love taking recipes that my friends are making and converting them into things that my family can eat. For one thing, it gives me a challenge. But, more importantly, it helps my kids feel like they are being included in the “hip” culinary circles that their friends enjoy. It’s a BIG DEAL to feel like you CAN eat “NORMAL FOOD” when you are dealing with dietary restrictions… no matter what your age, stage or reason.
So I took on the taquito. These things are the rage on pinterest and kids are bringing them in for snack at school and super star moms are baking them up as after school snacks. I’m in, I figured. Let’s do this! Scale the recipe up if you have time and par bake the taquitos for 5 minutes, then remove them, cool them and wrap them individually to freeze! Love it!
Make it a meal: (adjust option to suit your family — we round things out with BIG salads!)
- add a chopped salad (chopped greens, cukes, tomato, celery, red onion, pepper, avocado, carrot, berries, nuts, etc)
- add a soup (a brothy veg soup with fresh tomatoes, a hit of cayenne and lime and lots of cilantro would be great with the taquitos!)
Now, high five me and get in that kitchen! :)
Sarah’s Baked Black Bean Taquitos
~ serves 4 for dinner, more as a snack ~
- 1 can(822g) black beans (or 2.5 cups homemade)
- 1 cup mushrooms, minced
- 1/2 cup tomatillo salsa (or salsa of your choice)
- 3 Tbsp dairy free cream cheese (I use Tofutti or Daiya)
- 1 cup dairy free shredded cheese (I used Daiya)
- 1 Tbsp ground cumin
- 2 clove garlic, minced or 1/2 tsp powdered garlic
- 1 cup fresh cilantro, minced
- 1 package gluten free tortillas — many corn tortillas are ok, but check for wheat flour as some brands are labeled as corn but also include wheat
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
- Drain the beans and toss them in a good sized bowl.
- Add remaining ingredients (except the tortillas!) and stir until combined.
I find that steaming my gluten free tortillas makes them pliable enough to roll, so I set up a pot with about an inch of water, get that boiling and them set a cookie cooling rack on top of the open pot. I set the stack of tortillas on the rack and cover with an oversized pot rack so they can steam for a few minutes.
- Now, take one tortilla and lay it out on your work surface. Add about 3 Tbsp of filling in a line down the left edge. Then fold the left edge over the filling and roll it tightly to the right.
- Lay the rolled taquito on a sheet tray and continue until you’ve used up your filling and tortillas.
- Put the pan into the oven, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until the edges just brown.
- Remove and let them cool for a few minutes before serving.