Vegan Mac ‘N’ Cheese + A New Race!

Minimalist Bakers vegan mac and cheese recipe plus registering for the Platte River Half Marathon in Littleton Colorado | THE REAL LIFE Blog | fitness, food, fashion, fun in Colorado

Dairy Free & Daring

The man and I eat mostly vegetarian meals, I’d say about 95% of the time. A few years ago, I tried a day of eating vegan and it turned into a six-month stint. In that time, I discovered that eating vegan can be just as delicious as a diet full of meat and dairy.

I wish I’d known about this recipe, though, since mac and cheese is one of my all-time favorite comfort foods!

Also: The man and I registered for a half marathon coming up in April!


Photo cred: The Minimalist Baker

Here it is:

The BEST Vegan Gluten Free Mac n Cheese by The Minimalist Baker

I encourage you to visit the recipe link above for all the instruction details and delicious photos (the one above is hers, too).

I’m going to breakdown her ingredients and let you know how we tweaked her recipe.


  • 1 head roasted garlic (see instructions for method)
  • 10-12 ounces (283-340 g) gluten free penne
  • 4 Tbsp (60 ml) olive or grape seed oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (2 Tbsp or 12 g)
  • 4 1/2 Tbsp (31 g) arrowroot starch
  • 2 cups (480 ml) unsweetened plain almond milk, plus more as needed
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste (~1/4 tsp each)
  • 5 Tbsp (15 g) nutritional yeast, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 cup (40 g) vegan parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

Vegan mac and cheese recipe by The Minimalist Baker

What We Did:

We stuck to the ingredients pretty tightly, except we substituted:

  • gluten-full penne (we’ll never be on board the gluten-free train) for the gluten free pasta
  • corn starch for the arrowroot stars
  • and we totally by accident didn’t incorporate the starch into the oil/garlic… so we just added it with everything else to the blender. Didn’t seem to matter much.
  • ADDED: broccoli for a veggie boost

highly recommend this recipe if you’re trying to incorporate more meat- and dairy-free meals into your week’s meal plan! We’ve already decided we’ll make it again, although we might use regular parmesan cheese. (The almond-milk base still cuts loads of saturated fat and calories from a typical cheesey-pasta recipe.) We do like our cheese and gluten.

Preparing for a new half marathon | THE REAL LIFE Blog | fitness, food, fashion, fun in Colorado

A New Race!

This past weekend the man and I registered for the Platte River Half Marathon in Littleton, Colorado! The route runs along the Platte River, and looks to be an easy and vista-filled trek. I’m excited about running with a race in mind, and running our first race together!

Platte River Half Marathon and Buckhorn Exchange Relay | Colorado marathons and half marathons | THE REAL LIFE | running, fitness, food, fashion, fun in Denver, Colorado

Race date: April 9

Race goal: Not sure yet… However, I know my goal for training: run without the watch. I also am trying to increase my running days per week from 3-4 to 5-6. I’ve been too focused on my stats lately and it’s taken the joy out of running for me. So the goal is to fall back in love with running again, and to use how my body is feeling to gauge progress and limitations.

What’re you training for, or what’s your favorite mac and cheese recipe?



11 thoughts on “Vegan Mac ‘N’ Cheese + A New Race!

  1. dtills says:

    So glad to see that I am not the only crazy runner out there! Congrats on signing up for that half! We have found that we are really loving these destination runs. We like the rock and roll series and are doing the Seattle one (no brainer since we live there) and one other. Last year we went to the one in Vancouver BC, this year we are doing the one in Montreal. We did the rock and roll 10K in New Orleans, since we were there for a mini vacation and I loved that course! Its flat and scenic and, since it was the south in February, warm! I want to talk my husband into running the half there next year, we will see how that goes!
    I am looking forward to reading about your success and training schedule (mine is up on the blog now). Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Real Life says:

      Awesome! I would LOVE to do a destination run that’s a little further away… think the Sonoma half or something that involves wine country! 🙂 I’ll be following your journey as well. Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Amy says:

    Hi! New reader here! My next race is a 5 miler in March. It’ll be my first race in roughly a year and a half, and I’m psyched! I’m hoping to use it as a jumping off to start training for a half.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Real Life says:

      Good for you! I find that having a race to train for just helps me focus and get the most quality out of my runs. I’m excited for you! You’re definitely on the road to a half! 🙂 and thanks for stopping by ❤


  3. blogsbyity says:

    you seem to be in great shape. and thats well because of your hard work and persistence its showing. on the pasta, i just had a plate full of regular pasta and felt a bit guilty afterwards. all the best to you for the marathon. keep up at it!!

    Liked by 1 person

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