To make the vegan cheese sauce, we are going to use raw cashews. Take 2 cups of cashews and soak them in 4 cups of water for at least 6 hours. I know it seems cray cray to use cashews in this way but they not only make a tasty vegan cream sauce, you can make whipped cream with them too! These nuts (actually, cashews are a seed, not a nut), are quite versatile when it comes to vegan cuisine.
Take 1 tablespoon of olive oil and warm it in a small pan. Add 1/3 cup chopped onion, and saute them over a medium heat for 2 minutes. Add 5 cloves of minced garlic, and cook until onion is translucent and fragrant; about 5 minutes.
Here is the secret to vegan cheese sauce: nutritional yeast. It has a depth that is kinda cheddar-y, or parmesan-y. Despite looking kinda gross, it is rather effective. Most vegan cheese recipes just use a few tablespoons which is weird to me. I want my cheese to be cheesy!
Strain the soaked cashews, reserving the water. Add the cashews, 1/2 cup of the reserved water, 3/4 cup nutritional yeast, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon white vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard, and the cooked onions and garlic to a food processor. Puree until smooth. You might need to add more water. You want a consistency that is like a thinner mayo.
Cook your 2 cups of vegan pasta per the instructions. And then toss the vegan pasta with the “cheese” sauce. For some reason, those quotes seem demeaning… this stuff is f*cking tasty!
Place your four poblano peppers on a parchment-lined baking sheet and broil them on low for about 10 to 15 minutes, turning and flipping them every few minutes. You want them to char and just begin to soften, but not fully roast.
Remove the peppers from the oven and slice the tops lengthwise. Carefully scoop out the seed pod from each pepper. Now stuff the peppers with the vegan mac n cheese. Mix together 2 tablespoons of bread crumbs and 1/2 teaspoon olive oil. Top the stuffed peppers with the mixture and return them to the oven.
Broil them for about 5 minutes, until the crunchy and toasted on top. I served mine on top of a chunky ranchero sauce.