Radhi Devlukia-Shetty brings conscious cooking to this luscious mac and cheese recipe, interview

Radhi Devlukia-Shetty for Califia Farms, photo provided by Califia Farms
Radhi Devlukia-Shetty for Califia Farms, photo provided by Califia Farms /

While some people find cooking as a way to explore their creativity, others can see the process as overwhelming. From organic ingredients to plant-based food choices, the conversation beyond the plate can distract the mindset from the food on the plate. Radhi Devlukia-Shetty is introducing home cooks to the concept of conscious cooking and how that idea can be applied to favorite comfort food recipes, like her Jalapeno Dairy-Free Mac n Cheese using Califia Farms Organic AlmondMilk.

Beyond the idea of healthy eating or choosing a particular food lifestyle slant, people are wanting to be an informed consumer. Whether it is choosing organic, supporting local farms, or incorporating more plant-based food options, these choices are more than blindly picking an item off the shelf.

During a recent conversation with Radhi Devlukia-Shetty, she explained her approach to conscious cooking, allowing bodies to thrive, and enjoying some delicious comfort food along the way. The change does not have to drastic, instead she invites people to make manageable adaptations.

When asked what is conscious cooking, Radhi explained it is about understanding how certain foods can impact a person’s body. From picking the food for a recipe to the intention when cooking that food, the idea of providing nourishment to another person adds to the overall eating experience. Yes, a plate of food can curb hunger, but it needs to be more than that simple notion.

Radhi used the following story to explain her thought process. “We say that mother’s food is the best and it is often because of the love that they put into it. It is obviously delicious but that it is that infusion of care, attention, and love. Cooking is an opportunity to be present, tune into the smells, textures, and colors and infuse that experience into the dish.”

Although this concept might not be precisely written in any cookbook, it is an idea that many people appreciate. A meal filled with love just tastes better. When a dark cloud seems to be looming over the stove, the dish might be more bitter. Being present during the process can be the secret ingredient to any great meal.

One simple phrase seemed to guide part of the conversation, Radhi believes that a body will thrive when you feed it. From eating seasonally to eating local, all of those ideas nourish from the inside out. It is a multi-faceted approach that can have everyone taking a moment to ponder their next dinner recipe.

Specifically, Radhi prefers to eat organically, which is why her partnership with Califia Farms makes sense. The certified organic Almondmilk is simply just three ingredients, purified water, organic almonds, and sea salt. Nothing else is added to the beverage.

The recipe that Radhi created showcases the luscious texture as well as the clean nature of the beverage. She describes this dish as comforting and delicious, yet it does not feel heavy and leaves everyone feeling great after enjoying it.

In this recipe, Radhi hits all the flavor notes. From spicy to sweet to savory to bitter, it is in every bite and leads to overall satisfaction. She described the creaminess of the sauce, the kick from the jalapeno and mustard and the crunch from the bread crumb topping. It has the depth that people crave when eating a great comfort food dish.

Radhi Devlukia-Shetty
Radhi Devlukia-Shetty for Califia Farms, photo provided by Califia Farms /

Here’s how to make Jalapeno Dairy-Free Mac n Cheese from Radhi Devlukia-Shetty.


  • 2 cups dried elbow pasta
  • 3 tbsp vegan block butter
  • 3 tbsp plain or gf flour
  • 3 cups Califia Farms Organic Almondmilk
  • 2 cups grated vegan cheddar cheese
  • 1 tbsp english mustard
  • 4 fresh jalapenos chopped finely
  • ¼ cup pickled jalapenos chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp asafoetida or garlic powder


  • ¼ cup grated vegan cheese
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp mixed herbs
  • Chili oil (optional)


  • Boil pasta in large pot, according to box instructions, and preheat oven to 400f
  • In a pan, add the butter and let it melt
  • Add in the chopped fresh jalapenos and asafoetida and saute for 2-3 minutes
  • Add in the plain flour for the roux, mix on low heat till smooth the flour will disappear, and it will form a thick paste
  • Add in the Califia Farms Organic Almondmilk and whisk. There should be no lumps
  • Leave on medium heat and you will see the sauce beginning to thicken
  • Add in the mustard, cheese pickled jalapenos salt and pepper and heat till the cheese melts and forms a thick sauce
  • Strain pasta and then mix into sauce
  • Pour into a baking dish or casserole dish and top with cheese then breadcrumbs and mixed herbs
  • Drizzle a little chili oil then put on the middle shelf to bake
  • Bake till crisp and golden and cheese has melted, about 15 minutes

While this recipe is one example, Radhi said that the Califia Farms Organic Almondmilk is an easy swap in many recipes. From chocolate chips to an upside down pineapple cake to just a latte or smoothie, anything is possible.

The next time people step into the kitchen, set the intention before the food hits the pan. Whether the ingredients are plant-based, organic or something else, appreciating that the food nourishing the body and soul, add a sprinkling of good vibes and it might be the secret ingredient to make it taste even better.