If topping with tortilla chips, crush chips into fine crumbs and add to a baking pan lined with parchment paper or foil. Spritz with olive or avocado oil, sprinkle with salt and stir. Then bake in a 350-degree F (176 C) oven for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
Boil macaroni according to package instructions.
In a medium skillet over medium-low heat, sauté onion and garlic in a bit of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, stir and cook until soft and fragrant – about 7 minutes. Set aside.
Add onions and garlic to a blender with remaining ingredients, omitting the tortilla chips and adding only half of the green chilies. Blend until smooth, using the “liquify” setting if you have it to get it really smooth. Otherwise just blend for up to a minute, scraping down sides as necessary, until smooth and creamy.
Drain the noodles, set aside, and cover (with a towel). To the same pot you boiled the noodles in, add the cashew cheese and cook on low stirring frequently until slightly thickened.
Add the macaroni noodles to the cheese, along with the remaining green chilies and stir. Serve immediately, topping with crushed toasted tortilla chips and cilantro (optional).
*Adapted from the amazing Isa Chandra. *Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without tortilla chips.