You know that killer mac and cheese recipe I’ve been hinting at practically since I started this blog? Here she is.
Mac and cheese was one of the first things I tried to veganize after I made the switch. That inaugural experience was so disastrous, I may have actually cried thinking that I’d never again get to enjoy one of my favorite foods. Many, many, many recipes later, I still haven’t found the perfect stove top version of this dish, but as far as baked macaroni and cheese goes, I knew after the first bite of this recipe that victory was mine!
Interestingly enough, this recipe features absolutely no vegan cheese substitutes and zero nutritional yeast. Do a Google search and you’ll quickly find out how incredibly rare that is. Instead, the creamy, cheesy flavor and texture of this dish comes from a smooth blend of veggies, Earth Balance and cashews.
Honestly, this is the BEST. I’ve served it to non-veg friends and family I don’t know how many times and never has there ever been any trace of it left (my sister will actually lick the serving spoon clean – it’s that serious). That’s why it’s taken me so long to post. I can’t ever manage to get a picture of it before it disappears!
Vegan Macaroni & Cheese
Recipe courtesy of VegNews
4 quarts water
1 tbs sea salt
8 oz small, whole wheat pasta
2 slices of bread, torn into large pieces
1 tbs + 1/3 cup Earth Balance
2 tbs shallots, peeled and chopped
1 cup yellow potatoes, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup yellow onion, peeled and chopped
1 cup water
1/4 cup raw cashews
2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp garlic, minced
1/4 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbs lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne
Paprika, to garnish
VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: After I made this a few times, I thought it could really benefit from just slightly more sauce. Now I make about one quarter more sauce and stir it in before baking, as usual. The ingredients list above does not reflect that because it makes for some weird measurements (1/16 tsp, etc.). If you decide to make a little more (and you should!), just eyeball it.
- In a large pot, bring the water and salt to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside
- In a food processor, make breadcrumbs by pulverizing the bread and 1 tbs margarine to a medium-fine texture. Set aside
- Preheat oven to 350°F. In a saucepan, add shallots, potatoes, carrots, onion and water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 15 min. or until vegetables are very soft
- In a blender or food processor, process the cashews, salt, garlic and 1/3 cup margarine, mustard, lemon juice, black pepper and cayenne. Add softened vegetables and cooking water and process until perfectly smooth
- In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta and blended cheese sauce until completely coated. Spread mixture into a 9 x 12 casserole dish and sprinkle with prepared breadcrumbs and paprika.
- Bake for 30 min or until the cheese sauce is bubbling and the top has turned golden brown
Yield: Serves 6