Easy Mac & Cheese
1 pound whole grain macaroni
2 shallots, peeled (optional)
1 medium yukon gold or red potato, cut in quarters
1 medium carrots, peeled and cut in quarters
1 small sweet onion, peeled and cut in quarters
1/2 red bell pepper, cut in chunks
1 clove garlic
2 cups water
1/2 cup cashews or slivered almonds
1 tsp. salt, or to taste
2 tsp. spicy brown mustard
2 Tblsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
Cook macaroni according to package directions and rinse with cool water. Set aside to drain.
In a medium pot, put water and all the vegetables. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to simmer and cook until potato is tender, about 10-15 minutes.
Add vegetables and cooking water to blender. Add all other ingredients.
Blend for at least 2 minutes, until mixture is silky smooth.
Put pasta back in pot and pour sauce on top. Stir gently on very low heat till heated through.