Monday, January 31, 2011

Mac and Cheese, Please

I've been doing so awesome with my new year's goal of trying a few new recipes each week. You just haven't seen much of it, because not everything has been exactly photo or blog-worthy. (Curried sweet potatoes and Banana Cream Pie, I'm looking at you.)
But this mac and cheese is different. This is a "stop-whatever-you're-doing-and-make-this-now" kind of dish. And I don't even really like mac and cheese, vegan or not. But seriously, this stuff is addictive. And I was totally amazed at how CREAMY the sauce was with with no milk of any kind (not cow, soy, almond or rice). And you probably have most of these ingredients already in your pantry. There's nothing stopping you, really.
The ingredient list is long, and it makes a lot of dishes, but it's totally worth it. It's the perfect comfort food on a cold day when it feels like the snow is never going to end and spring will never come. Which has been most of this week in Philly. So I've spent my snow days eating this mac and cheese, crocheting a baby blanket and watching hour after hour of Ken Burns' The War. Just call me Grandma. I'm ok with it.
Vegan Mac and Cheese
from the VegNews Go Veg Guide

4 quarts water
1 tbsp sea salt
8 oz macaroni

Bread Crumbs:
4 slices bread, torn into large pieces
2 tbsp vegan margarine

"Cheese" Sauce:
2 tbsp (about 1 medium) shallots, peeled and chopped
1 cup red or yellow potatoes, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup onion, peeled and chopped
1 cup water
1/4 cup raw cashews
2 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup vegan margarine
1/4 tsp garlic, minced
1/4 tsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp paprika

Start by cooking the macaroni to al dente (or follow instructions on box). Once cooked, drain and rinse with cold water, then set aside.

To make bread crumbs, place torn bread slices and margarine into food processor, and pulse until medium-fine in texture. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium sauce pan, bring shallots, potatoes, carrots, onion and water to a boil. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until vegetables are very soft.

Meanwhile, in a blender, combine cashews, salt, margarine, garlic, mustard, lemon juice, pepper and cayenne. (Mine didn't process very smoothly, but I don't have an awesome blender. Don't worry if it's not smooth, just start to get things combined.) When vegetables are done, add to blender and process until smooth and creamy.

In a large bowl, toss the pasta with the cheese sauce until completely coated. Spread into a 9x13 pan, sprinkle breadcrumbs on top and dust with paprika. Bake for 30 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and bread crumbs are lightly browned. Eat it up, yum!


  1. that really does look delicious! adding this recipe to my favorites :)

  2. Thanks Rachel! It comes with my highest recommendation!