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Paleo Mac and Cheese

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Paleo Mac and CheesePHOTO: BRANDI MACKENZIE

Thanks to Brandi Mackenzie for submitting this mouth-watering recipe. Brandi created a healing system after repairing her own body from Crohn’s disease, and offers lifestyle and nutrition guidance and coaching through her blog, BrandiMackenzie.com.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 Expeller Pressed Coconut Oil (refined, does not taste like coconut)
  • 1/2 pound (approximately 3) Chicken Thighs
  • Herbamare seasoning blend, optional
  • 1 cup raw Cashews or Cashew Pieces
  • 1/4 cup Avocado Oil
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Milk
  • 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon White Pepper, ground
  • Up to 1 cup Water, divided
  • 2 small Zucchini, spiralized or made into noodles with a julienne peeler*
  • 1/2 head Lacinato Kale (4 large or 6 small leaves), de-stemmed and chiffonade

*substitute 1 1/2 cups cooked Tinkyada Brown Rice Elbow Noodles for gluten-free non-Paleo version

Instructions:

  1. Place coconut oil into medium saute pan and bring to medium heat. Add chicken.
  2. Sprinkle chicken with Herbamare, as desired. Be sure to use full amount of oil, this creates a traditional cheesy texture in the end!
  3. Cook chicken until lightly browned on bottom. Flip and cook until firm and opaque, with light brown on both sides. Remove from pan to let cool then shred.
  4. While chicken cooks, create your sauce. Place cashews into food processor. Process until a flour forms. Add oil and milk, and process until creamy but thick.
  5. Add spices and process to fully combine. Taste and adjust any seasoning as needed. Add 1/4 cup of water to thin sauce. Keep the rest of water for later steps.
  6. Once chicken is fully cooked and removed from pan, add zucchini noodles to pan. Cook until just tender, only a few minutes.*
  7. Add kale to pan with zucchini. Cook until bright green but tender, just a minute or two.
  8. Place shredded chicken in pan with vegetables, then top with sauce. Stir with spatula to incorporate all ingredients and cover evenly with sauce.
  9. Add water, in small amounts, as needed to thin sauce and help bring dish together.
  10. Serve immediately or store, refrigerated, in airtight, glass container for up to 4 days.
    *If using rice pasta, cook kale in pan once chicken is done. Add shredded chicken, cooked pasta and sauce to pan and thin with water as mentioned.

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