MY FAVORITE VEGAN MAC N CHEESE
Welcome back to Vegan MoFo! In case you missed my posts from last week, you can check them out here:
- Tomato Tuesday: An Ode to Fire Roasted Tomatoes
- What-a-Salad Wednesday: How to Build a Great Salad
- Thirsty Thursday: My 9 Favorite Vegetables to Drink
- Fruity Friday: Making the Case for Fruit
- Saucy Saturday: Cheezy Walnut Sauce with Sweet Potato Pasta
Today is Mac n Cheese Monday and I'm excited to share with you my FAVORITE vegan mac n cheese. I've shared it on the blog before, so it's not new, but it's seriously one of my favorite things to eat so I'm happy to be highlighting it for you today.
You can also see the original post here, which talks about some of the ingredients that may not be common staples in your kitchen, shows some more pictures of the process of making it, and gives nutrition facts.
When I first decided on this topic for Mondays during Vegan MoFo I was not following a raw diet, so my plan was try all kinds of new vegan mac n cheese recipes and tell you all about them. Now I'm not really sure what I'm going to do.
I'll try to figure something out before next Monday, but in the mean time, please enjoy this recipe.
The Basic Mac n Cheese Sauce
- 3/4 cup raw cashews
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 2 cloves of garlic
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp white pepper
- 1.5 cups unsweetened nondairy milk
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp miso paste
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice (fresh makes a big difference over the bottled stuff)
- 4 servings dry whole wheat pasta of choice (I prefer bow-tie for this recipe)
1. First, get your water boiling to cook your pasta and pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Add the cashews to your food process and process until they become a nice, fine, crumbly powder. Then add all the dry ingredients listed before the milk (nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder, garlic cloves, salt, and white pepper) and process until it's well mixed. If you don't have white pepper then you can certainly use black, but white does taste better in this dish.
3. Add your milk and corn starch to a small sauce pan and stir well until all the cornstarch is dissolved. Check and see if your water is boiling yet for the pasta and get that going now if you can. Then (back to the milk mixture) turn the heat on to medium and stir frequently, until the mixture becomes nice and thick.
4. Once the mixture is nice and thick, add it to your food processor while it's running and let it blend for about a minute. Then add the lemon juice and the miso, one tablespoon at a time, while the food processor is still running. Go ahead and taste it at this point and see what you think of it. Try not to eat it all with a spoon before your pasta has finished cooking.
5. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and pour it in a large mixing bowl. Add in your sauce and any other optional ingredients (see notes below), stir well, and then pour into a lightly greased baking dish. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the top noodles are nice and crispy.
Now, this dish is definitely delicious just the way it is, but I always find myself adding some extra ingredients. The pictures above have a can of Chipotle diced tomatoes and some Butler Soy Curls.
Optional ingredients to jazz it up:
- 1 can Chipotle diced tomatoes or fire roasted tomatoes (in which case only use 1 cup of milk for the milk/cornstarch mixture instead of 1.5 cups. The tomatoes have extra juice in the can, which you definitely want to include)
- ½ tsp of truffle oil (add this to the food processor at the same time as the miso and lemon juice)
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- ½ bag Butler Soy Curls, rehydrated and chopped
- 1 bunch of kale, chopped
- Chipotle diced tomatoes and soy curls
- Chipotle diced tomatoes and black beans
- fire roasted tomatoes and kale
- truffle oil and bread crumbs sprinkled on top
- truffle oil and kale
- black beans and kale
- just kale