Boots is nearing its one year anniversary. About this time last year, Alison and her husband Arden, were still in the thick of it. Amidst ladders, paint cans, table saws and layers of dust it was hard to imagine a hip urban space, let alone a smoothly running and successful cafe. But that’s what it has become.
And for the health-conscious, vegans and gluten-free folk, it is a dream come true. Boots offers vegan and gluten-free fare, scratch-made cocktails, and sweet treats, in a unique and fun environment.
And it couldn’t have come at a better time. Spokane, traditionally a meat and potatoes kind of town, has totally embraced it. And according to Alison, it’s not just vegans who join them. They have tried to create a place that welcomes all.
Alison, Arden and her friendly staff go out of their way to make you feel part of the family. “If you come here once, you are a regular. We don’t have customers, we have friends.” states Alison. And after spending a few minutes with her, you feel as if you’ve been friends your whole life.
When first planning the menu at Boots, Alison never imagined that her deli case full of savory vegan and gluten-free items would become the driving force of her business. Initially, she thought it would be her vegan baked goods and fresh cocktails that would bring people in.
But since day one, keeping the savory case stocked and full has been her greatest challenge. People flock in the doors for her latest daily creations, always made from scratch. And not having a set menu allows her the flexibility and freedom to make dishes using what’s seasonal and available that day.
She adds nutritional yeast which really boosts the health benefits and gives it a rich cheesy flavor. Nutritional yeast, if you are unfamiliar, is packed with protein and vitamins, particularly B vitamins, as well as folic acid, selenium and zinc.
It’s low in fat and gluten-free. A tablespoon or two added to vegan soups or other dishes can add depth, nuttiness, umami and richness, really enhancing the flavor that is already there. And it works great in this Mac and Cheese Recipe.
Once the pasta is done, about 7 minutes later, she very gently strains it.
She adds roasted cremini mushrooms and fresh chopped kale to this Mac and Cheese, but you could add any vegetable you like.
Chop fresh kale and add it to the pasta.
Gently fold in the “cheesy sauce” into the pasta and veggies, and carefully stir, so as not to break up the pasta.
Once it’s all incorporated, place it in a serving dish and serve immediately. You could also place it in a warm oven, covered, for a few minutes before serving.
Creamy Vegan Mac and Cheese with Kale and Mushrooms. A simple fast vegan dinner recipe, ready in under 30 minutes. Gluten-free adaptable!
- 4 cups dry elbow macaroni (or sub gluten-free noodles)
- 1pkg (1lb 3oz) Non-Gmo Organic Silken Tofu
- 1/3 cup Nutritional Yeast Flakes
- 1 tablespoon Granulated Garlic ( or 1–2 raw cloves- or 4–5 roasted garlic cloves )
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2–3 cups mushrooms roasted or pan sautéed (your choice on variety)
- 4–5 leaves kale, chopped
- Get pasta water boiling. Wash and chop kale. Chop and either sauté or roast mushrooms with a little olive oil and salt. Set aside.
- In a food processor, blend the silken tofu, yeast flakes, garlic, salt, pepper, oil.
- Boil and drain noodles according to directions on box. Place noodles back in the same pot and pour in the cheese sauce, gently warming over low heat.
- Add the sauteed mushrooms and kale. Toss and taste for salt. Adjust. Serve immediately or place in a baking dish, covered, and keep warm in an oven until ready to serve.
- Calories: 346
Keywords: vegan mac and cheese, healthy mac and cheese, vegan mac and cheese recipe