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Mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort dish! Anyone who’s ever considered ditching dairy has wondered how on earth they’ll get their mac and cheese fix. Well, we have good news for you. There are so many different ways to make dairy-free mac and cheese. There are veggie-based sauces, nut-based sauces, and so much more.

You don’t have to miss out on your favorite foods. With so many options, you are guaranteed to find a way that works for you.

We put together 15 dairy-free mac and cheese recipes from our Food Monster App to help you get started!

1. Very Cheesy Mac ‘n’ Cheeze

Source: Very Cheesy Mac ‘n’ Cheeze

Seriously, if you love Mac N’ Cheeze, this recipe by Amber St. Peter‘s a slightly spicy, flavorful, much healthier recreation of the old favorite. Loaded with secret ingredient goodies like nutritional yeast, tahini, and turmeric, it’s worth more than you’d expect, too. The cheezy sauce is chock full of B vitamins and anti-inflammatory power just waiting to be gobbled up!

2. Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese With Spinach

Source: Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese With Spinach

In Sara Hohn‘s Mac and Cheese recipe, sweet potatoes serve as the base to make the cheesy orange sauce that we all know and love. The spices and mustard balance out the sweetness, to create the ultimate mac.

3. Cheeseburger Mac and Cheese

Source: Cheeseburger Mac and Cheese

Cheeseburgers and mac and cheese are two of the most common comfort foods. On their own, they’re delicious. And together? Well, try out this Cheeseburger Mac and Cheese recipe by Gin Butters and you’ll find out! It includes macaroni pasta smothered in rich, creamy, and yes, life-changing, cheese sauce. Not to mention, a hefty portion of ground beef-style crumbles. Indulge away!

4. Butternut Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Source: Butternut Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Julie Zimmer‘s rich, cheesy Mac and Cheese casserole is so warm and cheesy, but lower in saturated fat compared to the traditional dish. The secret is replacing the cheese with a sauce made from butternut squash and cauliflower, then folding in dairy-free cheese shreds so you still get that ooey-gooey texture. Yum!

5. White Mac and Cheese With Buffalo Seitan

Source: White Mac and Cheese With Buffalo Seitan

Melanie Sorrentino‘s Mac and Cheese dish is easy to whip up on days you come home from work and school drained of energy. Let yourself be comforted by the creamy cheese sauce and the lovingly familiar flavors of buffalo sauce. All of the sauce-making and seitan preparing can be done in just the amount of time for the pasta to cook!

6. Creamy Golden Mac and Cheeze With Gomasio

Source: Creamy Golden Mac and Cheeze With Gomasio

Lexi and Beth Sinclair‘s Mac and Cheeze is best eaten… anytime! If you’re wondering what gomasio is, it is a delicious savory condiment typically made from sesame seeds and salt. Do yourself a favor and go order some. So much flavor. Check out the creaminess of this sauce! It’s incredibly easy to make. Simply soak cashews for 1-2 hours in advance, and then blend with nutritional yeast and a few other ingredients and spices. Cook your pasta, pour the sauce, stir everything up and top with toasted almonds, nutritional yeast, and gomasio and you’re good to go! You’ll have dinner on the table in roughly 20 minutes.

7. Sweet Potato Sage Mac and Cheese

Source: Sweet Potato Sage Mac and Cheese

You are going to love Alexandra Caspero‘s twist on traditional Mac and Cheese. Macaroni pasta is tossed in velvety sweet potato-based cheese and seasoned with sage leaves. This earthy dish is bound to become a weeknight favorite.

8. Extra Creamy Mac and Cheese

Source: Extra Creamy Mac and Cheese

Molly Patrick‘s Extra Creamy Mac and Cheese is the ultimate vegan Mac and Cheese. It isn’t some hippy-dippy “cheesy” sauce mixed in with noodles, trying to pass as something that might be somewhat similar to something that resembles Mac and Cheese. This holds its own among non-vegan Mac and Cheese recipes. Straight up. Make it and tell me what you think in the comments below.

9. Creamy Butternut Mac and Cheese

Source: Creamy Butternut Mac and Cheese

For many of us, mac and cheese was a dinnertime staple. Rachel Hanawalt‘s recipe for Mac and Cheese swaps high-fat butter and cheese for more nutrient-dense butternut squash, cashews, and nutritional yeast. With all the ingredients combined into a creamy sauce, the recipe really does taste like mac n’ cheese.

10. Philly Cheesesteak Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Source: Philly Cheesesteak Mac ‘n’ Cheese

What could be better than some amazing Mac ‘n’ Cheese? How about the flavors from a delicious Philly cheesesteak thrown into the mix? Steven Seigman‘s recipe makes pure comfort food!

11. Jalapeño Mac and Cheese Burger With Shiitake Bacon

Source: Jalapeño Mac and Cheese Burger With Shiitake Bacon

If you love a little fire, something with a wow factor that’s guaranteed to be a hit with everyone, meet Gabrielle St. Claire‘s Jalapeño Mac and Cheese Burger With Shiitake Bacon. These awesome sandwiches are a foodie dream come true. It has multiple flavor dimensions — salty, savory, spicy, and cheesy — and if you want to add a little sweetness into the mix, add a drizzle of maple syrup to the Shiitake bacon marinade.

12. Mac and Cheese Toast With Fresh Basil Pesto

Source: Mac and Cheese Toast With Fresh Basil Pesto

Mac and cheese sandwich? Yes! This toast by Lena Pfetzer is like a next-level grilled cheese sandwich. Pasta is enveloped in a creamy, dairy-free “cheese” sauce, mixed with spinach (or your favorite greens), and sandwiched between two pieces of toasted bread with fresh basil pesto. These indulgent sandwiches are the perfect game-day munchies.

13. Baked Mac and Cheese and Peas

Source: Baked Mac and Cheese and Peas

The crispy surface adds a lovely crunch to this Baked Mac and Cheese and Peas from The Veginner’s Cookbook! Of course, you can always swap the peas with your favorite vegetable or leave them out completely if you’re feeling more cheesy.

14. Smoky Cashew Mac and Cheese

Source: Smoky Cashew Mac and Cheese

This rich and creamy Smoky Cashew Mac and Cheese by Dawn Kriss is ready in no time. Made from cashews and a blend of flavors that amp up the cheesy, umami flavor like nutritional yeast, garlic, mustard, and smoked paprika, you won’t believe that this classic dish is dairy-free. Just cook the pasta, blend the sauce ingredients together, and heat!

15. Raw Mac and Cheese With Zucchini ‘Elbow Macaroni’

Source: Raw Mac and Cheese With Zucchini ‘Elbow Macaroni’

It’s safe to say that everyone loves mac and cheese, yes? Yes. Making Mariko Sakata‘s Raw Mac and Cheese that still satisfies this craving. This recipe will rock your world, hands down. It’s delicious AND nutritious, but it’s mac and cheese. Can it get better? If you can’t make both the flax crackers and coconut bacon, definitely make the coconut bacon.

We also highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 15,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out!

For more Vegan Food, Health, Recipe, Animal, and Life content published daily, don’t forget to subscribe to the One Green Planet Newsletter!

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Change Ad Consent Do not sell my data 4 Reasons Leather Can Never Be Sustainable

The factory farming industry is facing increased scrutiny and criticism amid the climate and biodiversity crises, due to the damaging impact it’s having on the planet. The organization GRAIN, for example, says that the top five meat and dairy corporations globally are “currently responsible for more annual greenhouse gas emissions than oil companies such as Exxon, Shell and BP.” However, the associated leather industry doesn’t receive quite as much negative attention.

That may partly be because, as Vogue pointed out in 2019, retailers are marketing leather as a “sustainable choice.” The Leather & Hide Council of America (L&HCA), meanwhile, recently released a report, which asserted that leather is a by-product – not a driver – of the meat and dairy industry. The L&HCA president Steve Sothmann said that “one might argue that processing hides into leather delivers a net carbon saving against alternative means of disposal.”

In short, proponents of the industry characterize it as anti-waste and therefore environmentally-friendly to an extent, in our extremely wasteful world. This is, however, far from the whole story. Here are four critical facts about the industry everyone should know in terms of waste.

1. A highly valuable ‘waste’ product

As the L&HCA report suggests, the skins of cows who are reared for meat and dairy often end up as leather. But leather is a very valuable component of animal agriculture. Statistica has reported that the global market value of the leather industry was around $217bn in 2016. A 2009 Greenpeace report titled Slaughtering the Amazon, meanwhile, documented how large-scale farming of cows in Brazil was fueling deforestation in the Amazon. The report asserted that “the total value of the cattle trade for Brazil was $6.9 billion in 2008, with leather representing more than a quarter of that value.”

As the Guardian reported in 2016, leather is popular in ‘fast fashion‘ products. These are consumer goods that are quick in every sense: speedily designed and manufactured to set or follow trends, fast fashion items often rapidly end up in the bin once the next fad arrives. The Guardian article said that projections suggested that, in order to keep people “in wallets, handbags and shoes” amid the fast fashion frenzy, the annual slaughter of cows globally would have to rise from the 290m at that stage to 430m by 2025.

2. Wasting the world’s forests

The 2009 Greenpeace report, which found that the cow industry in the Brazilian Amazon was responsible for the loss of an acre of forest every eight seconds on average, caused a stir. Subsequently, some of the industry’s large processing companies signed up to an agreement – the G4 Cattle Agreement – that, as Greenpeace explained, committed them to ending “the purchase of cattle whose production is linked to Amazon deforestation, slave labour or the illegal occupation of Indigenous lands.” One of those companies was JBS, which the NGO described in a further 2020 report as the world’s “largest producer of beef and chicken and processor of leather.” That subsequent report claimed that, eleven years later, JBS was “still slaughtering the Amazon.”

The company was the subject of a number of allegations regarding its links to deforestation in 2020. JBS has disputed some of the accusations and claimed that it works “closely with national and local government departments to develop solutions and system improvements around supply chain traceability and best agricultural practice to eradicate deforestation. The interests of all stakeholders are aligned on this topic.”

Another 2020 report by the NGO Earthsight showed that deforestation connected to leather products isn’t limited to Brazil either. That report was titled Grand Theft Chaco and linked European car manufacturers to deforestation on land “inhabited by one of the world’s last uncontacted tribes” in Paraguay’s Gran Chaco bioregion. As Fair Planet reported, the precious forests there are home to jaguars and giant anteaters and people are destroying them “faster than any others on earth.”

3. Not always a cow ‘by-product’

People don’t make all leather from the skin of adult cows. There are a number of leathers that come from other animals, such as goats and lambs, which sellers often market as a luxury product. Calf leather – another luxury leather – is obviously from cows, but young individuals rather than mature ones. Sentient Media has reported that in order to “access cows’ skin at its absolute youngest”, industry practices include the removal of unborn calves “directly from their mothers’ wombs.” The outlet also asserted that people killed between 100 and 200 dogs each day in China for leather in 2014.

Though these leathers come from animals that people may exploit for other purposes too, such as producing meat, some leather isn’t linked to other industries, it is an industry entirely of its own. That’s the case with so-called exotic leathers. People make these leathers from the skins of other animals, such as reptiles. As Mongabay has pointed out, there is fierce debate over whether this “multi-million dollar industry” is helping or harming the long-term prospects for survival of the animals involved. Some argue that allowing people to trade in their body parts encourages the protection of the involved species, whereas others say the industry may be destabilizing their populations in the wild.

4. Chemical waste damaging the environment and people

The leather industry produces a lot of waste which can have an adverse effect on the environment and people. This is due to the processes for treating skin to make it usable for products, such as tanning. The most common form of tanning involves chromium. Sentient Media highlights that the treating process involves multiple substances, however, such as “formaldehyde, coal-tar derivatives, and various oils, dyes, and cyanide-based finishes” too. These substances can find their way into the environment via the industry’s liquid and solid waste and end up in waterways or landfills.

The scale of environmental damage involved in leather production varies depending on the laws and standards of the countries where it takes place. Gizmodo reported in 2014, however, that no matter how modernized or carefully managed production facilities are, “it is nearly impossible to reclaim all of the pollutants generated by the tanning process.” It further explained what specific environmental damage those pollutants can cause, highlighting that “when chromium-laced waste is dumped into regional water systems, it can damage fish gills, incite respiratory problems, infections, infertility, and birth defects. It can also instigate a number of serious cancers in animals throughout the food chain.”

Many people, of course, work with these same substances in the tanning process. Exposure to these chemicals can pose a danger to their health too. One study explained that investigators have linked the “exposures within the leather tanning industry” with “the development of a variety of specific cancers including lung, bladder, kidney, pancreatic oral cavity, nasal and soft tissue sarcoma and skin along with dermatitis, ulcers, perforation of the nasal septum, respiratory illnesses.”

A sustainable choice?

In short, those involved in the leather industry often champion it as a sustainable material, that is simply putting a by-product of another industry to use. But that industry, namely the industrial-scale meat and dairy industry, is deeply harmful to the planet. Furthermore, leather is a valuable commodity in its own right, as exotic and luxury leather products illustrate in particular. The leather industry also appears to often leave a trail of waste in its wake, in terms of damage to people and the environment.

These are the considerations consumers need to have in mind when weighing up the industry’s sustainability credentials.

Related content:
  • Leather Is More Than “a By-Product of the Meat Industry”
  • Join Campaign Urging Nike to Stop Using Kangaroo Leather in their Shoes
  • Stella McCartney Makes World’s First Clothes from Bio-Based Mushroom Leather
  • How Factory Farming Creates Air Pollution
  • 4 Sustainable Vegan Leather Alternatives
  • From Factory Farming to Fast Fashion: Important Environmental Issues to Learn About This Earth Day!

For more Animal, Earth, Life, Vegan Food, Health, and Recipe content published daily, subscribe to the One Green Planet Newsletter! Lastly, being publicly-funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!

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