Dairy & Gluten-Free Blush Mac & Cheese with Tomatoes

by Susan on May 15, 2013

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I apologize for the lengthy title of today’s post. The original recipe title is wordy enough, but I then wanted to specify the lack of dairy and gluten in my adaptation. We’re now midway through Food Allergy Awareness Week, and I’m sticking to my pledge to present all dairy, gluten and nut-free recipes.

While I don’t recommend buying tons of gluten-free breads and other highly processed products if you eat gluten-free, organic brown rice tortillas and pasta are two staples of mine. I’ve already incorporated the tortillas twice this week, and thought I’d share an allergy-friendly pasta recipe as well.

I adapted Cooking Light’s Blush Mac & Cheese with Tomatoes, the “blush” referring to the tomato paste incorporated into the cheese sauce. To keep things dairy-free I replaced the milk and cheese with coconut milk and Daiya cheddar. Other than that (and using gluten-free flour) I stuck to the recipe as written.

My kids really liked this one, and I appreciated how easy it was to whip up (and the inclusion of spinach and tomatoes).

Dairy & Gluten-Free Blush Mac & Cheese with Tomatoes

8 oz. uncooked brown rice pasta (I used shells)
1 pint organic grape tomatoes
1 tbs. olive oil
1/4 cup diced shallots
3 minced garlic cloves
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
2 tbs. tomato paste
1 tbs. brown rice flour
1 1/4 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
3/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
4 oz. baby spinach
4 oz. shredded non-dairy cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to broil.

Cook pasta al dente and drain.

While pasta cooks, place tomatoes on a jelly-roll pan lined with foil. Broil 8 minutes or until tomatoes are beginning to blacken.

While tomatoes cook, heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add diced shallots, minced garlic, and thyme; sauté 2 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently.

Add tomato paste; cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in milk, black pepper, and salt; bring to a boil. Cook 4 minutes or until thick and bubbly, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.

Add spinach, stirring constantly until spinach starts to wilt. Add shredded cheese, and stir until smooth. Stir in cooked pasta. Top with the roasted tomatoes.

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