Lunchbreak: Vegan Easy Creamy Shells and Cheese

Midday News
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Chef/Author and TV host, Dustin Harder


-Epic Vegan Pop-Up and Book Signing at No Bones Beach Club Thursday August 8, 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. featuring items from the book. Located at 1943 W. North Ave. Chicago IL 60622

-Epic Vegan Cooking Class at The Chopping Block Friday August 9,  at 6:00 p.m. Located at 222 Merchandise Mart Plaza Ste. 107 Chicago 60654. Buy tickets here

-Epic Vegan Demo and Book Signing at Veggie Fest Chicago Saturday August 10, at 2:00 p.m. located at Danada South Park, 2701 Navistar Circle, Lisle, IL

(Veggie Fest is 8/10 & 8/11 – 11:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.)

-Epic Vegan Breakfast Nachos served at Upton’s Breakroom as a special on their menu all week August 4-9 Located at 2054 W. Grand Ave. Chicago, IL


Easy Creamy Shells and Cheese

2 1⁄2 cups (570 ml) water

2 cups (10 ounces/340 g) peeled and cubed kabocha or butternut squash

1 large russet potato, peeled and cubed

1⁄4 cup (50 g) arborio rice

2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil

1⁄2 cup (80 g) chopped onion

1⁄2 cup (75 g) chopped red bell pepper

4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

1⁄2 cup (71 g) sauerkraut

1⁄4 cup (60 g) tahini

2 tablespoons (30 g) Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon (15 ml) white wine vinegar

21⁄2 teaspoons sea salt

1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper

1⁄2 teaspoon paprika

1 box (1 pound) cooked elbows, medium shells or pasta of choice


In a large saucepan, combine the water, squash, potato, and rice. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, or until the squash is fork-tender. Do not drain the water.

Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, or until soft and fragrant.

In a high-speed blender, combine the sauerkraut, tahini, mustard, vinegar, salt, black pepper, and paprika. Transfer the contents of the saucepan (including the water) and the contents of the skillet to the blender. Remove the plug from the lid of the blender and place a dish towel over the hole to allow steam to escape. Blend on low and increase the speed until the mixture is creamy and smooth, about 2 minutes. Serve warm on recipes as needed or toss it with steamed broccoli or your favorite vegetables!

Mix with prepared pasta and serve garnished with vegan parmesan or favorite mac and cheese toppings!


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