Pumpkin Mac ‘n Cheese [Gluten-Free & Vegan!]

Pumpkin Mac ‘n Cheese [Gluten-Free & Vegan!]

Warm, gooey and comforting mac ‘n cheese doesn’t have to be a thing of the past if you’re gluten and dairy free. 

Gluten-Free Vegan Mac 'n Cheese with Pumpkin | oak + spoon

It’s the ultimate comfort food that just about everyone loves. Childhood memories of my mom’s delicious mac ‘n cheese are still with me today. I used to love sneaking the cubes of old cheddar cheese which made my mom have to continue to cut the block to have enough for the cheese sauce. That version was full of dairy and gluten and sadly no longer something either of us can enjoy. 

But fear not, I’ve found a tasty alternative! While it’s not the same in flavour it is the same in comfort. 

Gluten-Free Vegan Mac 'n Cheese with Pumpkin | oak + spoon

I love my bowl of comfort topped with extra black pepper, fresh tomatoes, kale and sometimes bacon (shh… don’t tell the vegans!). What is even cooler about this dish is the added fibre with the pumpkin. It helps keep it creamy and usually I don’t need to add any thickener (like corn, potato or tapioca starch). Which is great and makes this comfy dinner even easier.

I was inspired by one of my favourite Toronto bakeries with this recipe. Bunner’s Bake Shop is a must for any gluten-free/dairy-free/vegan in the city. They have a fantastic cook book (affiliate link) with the recipe for their mac ‘n cheese which we love. I’ve played around with it some and came up with my own version. I suggest their cook book to anyone looking to learn how to make vegan and gluten-free savoury and sweet treats. 

Gluten-Free Vegan Mac 'n Cheese with Pumpkin | oak + spoon

Gluten-Free Vegan Mac 'n Cheese with Pumpkin | oak + spoon

Feel free to spice up the sauce by adding more paprika or chili-pepper – my wife loves to add some hot sauce on top for a little extra kick!

Pumpkin Mac ‘n Cheese | Gluten-Free & Vegan

Gluten-Free Vegan Mac 'n Cheese with Pumpkin | oak + spoon

 

Mac 'N Cheese with Pumpkin - Gluten Free & Vegan
Savoury, creamy and comforting mac 'n cheese!
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Ingredients
  1. 1/3 Cup Butter (Vegan)
  2. 1 Cup Almond Milk
  3. 1 tbs Mustard (Grainy or Yellow)
  4. 6tbs Nutritional Yeast
  5. 1/4 tsp Onion Powder
  6. 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
  7. 1/8 tsp Paprika
  8. A few cracks of salt + pepper to taste
  9. 3 tbs Pumpkin
  10. 1 Cup Daiya Cheese (I like to use 1/2 cup mozzarella + 1/2 cup cheddar)
Instructions
  1. Melt butter in a small sauce pan on medium-low heat - add milk and keep heat low (do not bring to a boil)
  2. Stir in mustard and add nutritional yeast until incorporated
  3. Add seasonings to mixture.
  4. Mix in pumpkin - this should make the sauce thicker
  5. Add cheese and stir on medium-low heat - this "cheese" takes a little longer to melt so check back every few moments to stir
  6. Start boiling water for your pasta (macaroni, penne or fusilli). Cook, drain, rinse and place back into pot
  7. Once sauce is combined and smooth add it to your cooked pasta
  8. Serve with your choice of toppings (avocado, kale, tomatoes, bacon etc)
Notes
  1. Feel free to adjust seasonings to your liking - I don't even use a recipe to make this anymore so this is all approx. measurements.
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Simple + Tasty Kale Side-Dish (Vegan + Gluten Free)

Simple + Tasty Kale Side-Dish (Vegan + Gluten Free)

Simple + Tasty Kale (Gluten-Free & Vegan) | oak + spoon

Kale is the new black. Or whatever it is the kids are saying these days. Some may argue kale is overrated or an acquired taste. Not for me! Give me kale in just about any form and I’m game.

Simple + Tasty Kale (Gluten-Free & Vegan) | oak + spoon

Minimalism and simplicity is kind of all the rage right now and I’m so on board. We’re so bombarded by STUFF in all aspects of our lives, from our homes, jobs and electronics. I don’t know about you but I’ve had enough stuff to last a lifetime (and we don’t even have children yet – yikes!). So while more may seem better to some, I’m totally find with pairing down in all areas of life. 

Simple + Tasty Kale (Gluten-Free & Vegan) | oak + spoon

There is something to be said about food that is in it’s purest form. Not much is needed when you’re eating whole foods, a dash of salt and pepper, maybe a whole oil like coconut or avocado and that’s really it. That’s what I love about this simple side-dish.

Simple + Tasty Kale (Gluten-Free & Vegan) | oak + spoon

I love to add this to my mac n’ cheese (recipe coming soon!) or use it as a side with some more veggies thrown in (cherry tomatoes pair so nicely). Cook it a little longer and with a little less oil to get it crispy and more like the texture of a kale chip. It’s a recipe that is so easy that there really isn’t an excuse to eat more greens. 

So, who’s ready to eat more greens this year? I know I am!

Simple + Tasty Kale (Gluten-Free & Vegan) | oak + spoon

Simple & Tasty Kale; Vegan + Gluten-Free

Simple + Tasty Kale
Simple, delicious and easy kale side dish.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 Tbs Coconut Oil
  2. 1 Medium Sized Shallot
  3. 1/2 Bunch of Kale
  4. Pink Himalayan Salt + Pepper
Instructions
  1. Separate and clean a half bunch of kale. Make sure to clean leaves throughly. Dry kale and tear pieces from stems, making sure to discard the thick middle veins.
  2. Finely chop shallot and set aside.
  3. In a medium sized pan melt coconut oil on low/med heat and add in shallots.
  4. Once shallots have been cooking for 1-2mins place pieces of kale in pan.
  5. Add a pinch of pepper and salt to taste.
  6. Sauté kale and shallots until kale is wilted and at your desired doneness (cook longer for crispier kale).
  7. Serve as a side or top your mac n' cheese!
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Pork Butt Roast in the Slow-Cooker (Gluten-Free)

Pork Butt Roast in the Slow-Cooker (Gluten-Free)

Pork Butt Roast in the Slow-Cooker | oakandspoon.com

 

Who doesn’t love a good butt? … I’m talking about a pork butt (roast) of course! 😉 This crazy easy crock-pot pork roast recipe will have your family asking for seconds.

My wife (still sounds funny to say and write!) and I were showered with so many wonderful gifts at our bridal shower this summer. One of the gifts that I was crossing my fingers for was a new slow-cooker (or crock pot if you prefer). The one we had been using was and hand me down from my Mom, which was handed down from her Mother. Needless to say it had seen better days and leaving it alone to cook while we were out made us nervous; it had a very loose wire in the back. 

To christen our new appliance we made a delicious, fall apart tender roast. Using a slow cooker is almost fool proof and it pretty much guarantees a perfectly cooked dinner. But now that I’ve said that, I bet I’ll be eating my words! 

Pork Butt Roast in the Slow-Cooker | oakandspoon.com

The recipe is super simple and it’s a great base for a family dinner. I prefer to cook my sides separately so the veggies don’t over cook but feel free to add carrots and/or potatoes right in the pot.

Pork Butt Roast in the Slow-Cooker | oakandspoon.com

On a side note – making meat look pretty in a photo isn’t an easy task! I love food photography and styling shots is super fun for me but this one gave me a challenge – I hope the roast looks as delicious as it was! 

Crock-Pot Pork Butt Roast

Looking for a side dish?
My Herb de Provence French Fries would be perfect with this roast!

Herb de Provence French Fries - Baked! AND Gluten-free! | oakandspoon.com

 

 

Pork Butt Roast - Crock Pot Recipe
Tender pork butt cooked in the crock-pot until fall apart delicious - you'll want seconds!
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Cook Time
8 hr
Cook Time
8 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 Yellow Onion
  2. 2-3 Cups of Water (depending on the size of crock-pot and roast)
  3. 1 Pork Butt Roast
Seasonings
  1. Pink Himalayan salt, fresh cracked pepper, garlic powder, and Herbes de Provence
Instructions
  1. Place 2-3 cups of water into crock-pot.
  2. Cut half yellow onion into chunks and place on the bottom of crock-pot.
  3. Sprinkle salt and garlic powder into water.
  4. Place pork butt on top of onions - water should touch pork less than half way up.
  5. Liberally sprinkle pork with salt.
  6. Sprinkle Herbs de Provence, pepper and garlic powder on roast.
  7. Cover crock-pot and enjoy your day!
Notes
  1. If the roast is semi-frozen put on high for 2-3 hours.

  2. If you are leaving for work/school/etc leave on the low setting for 8 hours.
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Baked Herb de Provence French Fries – Gluten Free

Baked Herb de Provence French Fries – Gluten Free

Let’s be honest – who doesn’t love french fries? Well, I doubt it’s you because you’re here! These tasty little taters are a perfect side dish or a fun snack during sports/awards season/netflix date/whateverbecausefrenchfriesareawesomeallthedamntime.

Herb de Provence French Fries - Baked! AND Gluten-free! | oakandspoon.com

Herb de Provence sounds super-duper fancy and like maybe you don’t know if it’s too fancy for some french fries but I’m telling you – it takes the every day chip to the next level. According to BBC – “Herbes de Provence is a fragrant mixture of dried herbs typical of southern French cooking. Exact recipes vary, but thyme, savory, rosemary and an aniseed-scented herb such as fennel or tarragon are typical ingredients. Marjoram or basil may also be included in the mixture.” In other words, tasty!

Herb de Provence French Fries - Baked! AND Gluten-free! | oakandspoon.com

The key to baked french fries is; water. Soaking your potatoes for an hour helps keep them crisp in the oven. After soaking them make sure to dry each fry so the oil and spices will stick. 
herbdeprovence-frenchfries-105

 

Herb de Provence French Fries
Tasty baked french fries with a fancy twist of herb de provence.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 Large Russet/Baking Potatoes
  2. Salt
  3. Pepper
  4. Herb de Provence
  5. Olive Oil
Instructions
  1. Fill large bowl with water, halfway full.
  2. Peel and then cut potatoes into strips about half an inch thick (thicker or thinner to preference).
  3. Soak potatoes in water for an hour.
  4. Pre-heat oven at 350 degrees.
  5. After potatoes soak, drain water and dry potato on paper towel.
  6. Place potatoes back into bowl (which has no water in it now) and toss with drizzle of olive oil to coat.
  7. Sprinkle herb de provence liberally over oil coated potatoes.
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste - fresh cracked is best!
  9. Bake in oven for 15-20 mins - keep checking on them and flip fries once they start to crisp on one side.
  10. Once cooked to your liking (soft or crispy!), enjoy with your meal or favourite dipping sauce!
oak + spoon http://www.oakandspoon.com/
 

 

 

 

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