Kid-Approved Bites: No-Queso Mac and Cheese, Steamed Green Beans and Carrots with Orange Sauce & No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars

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No-Queso Mac and Cheese from The China Study Quick & Easy

Macaroni and cheese is thought of as the all-American dish. There are as many ways to make it as there are picnics on the Fourth of July. This one has that creamy homemade feel to it with a southwest kick.

Makes 6 servings


12 ounces whole grain macaroni noodles
1 recipe No-Queso Sauce (below)
1 cup nutritional yeast


  1. Cook the pasta according to package instructions.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  3. Combine the cooked macaroni noodles, No-Queso Sauce, and nutritional yeast in a large bowl and mix well.
  4. Spoon the mixture into a 9 × 13 baking dish and bake for 25 minutes, until the top is lightly browned.


  • For a quicker version, finish heating it on the stovetop for a few minutes instead of baking it.
  • If you don’t like a spicy mac and cheese, you can cut back on the chipotles in adobo sauce used to make the No-Queso Sauce.
No-Queso Sauce

Makes about 3 cups


2 cups frozen cauliflower florets
2 cups water
1 roasted red bell pepper
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1 teaspoon sea salt


  1. Add the cauliflower to a medium saucepan with the water.
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until the cauliflower is tender—6 minutes for the frozen; 10 minutes for the fresh.
  3. Scoop the cauliflower into a blender, reserving the cooking liquid, and add the remaining ingredients.
  4. Puree the mixture, adding just enough of the cooking water to make a creamy sauce.

MAKE IT EASY: You can make a quick, no-cook version of this sauce by replacing the cauliflower with light firm silken tofu and pureeing it with the rest of the ingredients. It makes a great dip for vegetables.

Steamed Green Beans and Carrots with Orange Sauce

Steamed Green Beans with Carrots and Orange Sauce from The China Study All-Star Collection (recipe by Laura Theodore)

The refreshing citrus notes of the orange juice enhance this colorful green beans and carrots combo.

Makes 4 servings


4 carrots, scrubbed and sliced into sticks
3 cups green beans, cleaned and trimmed
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon maple syrup
Sesame seeds for garnish


  1. Fit a steamer basket into a large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Add 2 inches of cold water, then add the carrots. Cover and bring to a boil. Steam for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the green beans, cover, and steam for 6–7 minutes more or until the carrots and beans are crisp-tender.
  3. Meanwhile, put the orange juice, lemon juice, and maple syrup in a small bowl. Whisk to combine.
  4. Transfer the cooked carrots and beans to a medium bowl. Add the sauce, toss to coat, and serve.


No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars from The China Study Cookbook

These bars are rich, creamy, sweet, and satisfying—everything a dessert should be!

Makes 9 servings


1 cup low-fat graham crackers, crushed
¼ cup crushed walnuts
½ cup reduced-fat, unsweetened coconut
⅓ cup natural peanut butter
¼ cup nondairy milk
1 cup nondairy chocolate chips
5 tablespoons rice or almond milk


  1. Crush graham crackers in food processor. In separate bowl, add walnuts, coconut, and peanut butter. Stir in crushed graham crackers.
  2. Slowly add milk and mix. If mixture does not hold together, continue adding additional milk until all ingredients stick together. However, don’t make it too soft, and, if necessary, use your hands.
  3. Spread mixture evenly into a 9 × 9 nonstick baking dish.
  4. In a saucepan, melt chocolate chips together with rice or almond milk over medium heat. Stir until smooth.
  5. Spread chocolate mixture on top of peanut butter mixture. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until hardened. Cut into squares and enjoy!

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