As you read this I'll probably be on a plane heading back to NYC after a weekend in Ohio. Brett and I flew into Dayton, Ohio on Thursday to attend Brett's cousin's wedding and spend time with Brett's side of the family. It was a FULL weekend with lots of family time, socializing, dancing, playing with our niece and nephews, and answering questions about our upcoming move to China. By Sunday night I was drained!
I also had my first I-can't-explain-how-I'm-feeling-about-moving-overseas moments on our last day in Ohio. For a while I've been aware of the fact that as our move to China gets closer, and as we say goodbye to friend and family, I'm probably going to have days when I won't feel like my normal, bubbly self. Sometimes I won't even be able to explain why I feel sad or drained or irritable, but I know that moving overseas and leaving family isn't something I should take lightly. I really want to give myself grace as I process through all these life changes and experience different emotions and feelings than I'm not used to experiencing.
This weekend, Brett and I answered question after question about our move to China. Our extended family is so loving and caring and I really enjoyed talking about all the details. But on Sunday afternoon, I started to feel really sad and as if I didn't want to be around anyone. I didn't feel like I could focus on anything either. Brett and I were supposed to go to dinner with some of our extended family that night, but all afternoon I felt on the verge of tears (and couldn't even pin point why) and when dinner time rolled around I told Brett that I didn't feel up for it. I just needed to be alone and to not feel like I had to be my normal self.
The weirdest thing about these occasional bouts of sadness is that I truly am so excited about everything involving our move to China. I'm excited to sell all of our furniture. I'm excited to only own the things we can carry in a few suitcases. I'm excited for our summer of travel and spending time with family. I'm excited about the actual plane ride to China. I'm excited to look for an apartment and learn how to buy groceries in China. I'm excited to learn Mandarine. I really am excited about it all! But I know that with all of that excitement comes quite a few negative things too. Saying goodbye to our close friends in NYC, saying goodbye to family, and saying goodbye to our comfortable, American life is going to be hard. That's why I think that even amidst all of the fun things to look forward to, I'm going to have days where the negative realities of our move to China will overpower the excitement.
And I need to remember that that's okay.
And to give myself grace.
Man, I feel like the things I've been sharing on the blog lately have made it really hard to segue into talking about food!
Oh well. It is what it is! And even though I don't have a good segue from China thoughts to this recipe, doesn't mean this Gluten-Free Low-Fat Vegan Mac and Cheese isn't delicious! I made huge serving of this recipe last week and it was perfect for dinner after a long day. Even one of my non-vegan friends tried it and gave it a thumbs up! It's creamy and filling and has the perfect kick from freshly ground black pepper, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of cayenne. Brett and I LOVE sautéed mushrooms so I added in a bunch for added flavor and texture. Feel free to add in any other veggies you like such as onion, zucchini, or roasted broccoli.
I hope you enjoy this cheesy, plant-based Gluten-Free Low-Fat Vegan Mac and Cheese!
- 1 cup homemade cashew milk
- 2 small yellow potatoes, chopped (~2 cups)
- 6 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- lots of freshly ground black pepper
- optional: pinch of cayenne
- 8-10 oz. whole grain gluten-free macaroni noodles
- Sautéed mushrooms, zucchini, onions, etc.
- In a steamer, steam the chopped potatoes until fork tender. While the potatoes are steaming, sauté your favorite vegetables.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the macaroni noodles according to the package directions. Drain and set aside
- While the noodles are cooking, place all of the cheese sauce ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Taste for seasoning and add in more spices, nutritional yeast or the optional pinch of cayenne if desired.
- Pour the cheese sauce over the cooked and drained macaroni noodles and add in your favorite sautéed vegetables.
- Serve hot with more freshly ground black pepper.