I LOVED mac & cheese as a kid. Not the Blue Box artificial waste of caloric intake, but my Mom's amazing home-made creation. It was creamy, filling and tasted like home. I've tried a number of vegan mac & cheese recipes. I always seem to end up a sad panda...unfulfilled and longing for a taste of that home-made vegetarian goodness. To make matters worse, my mother's made it almost every time I've visited home over the past few years, and my voice more than quivers and cracks when saying, "No thanks, Mom. I'm still a vegan."
Well, today I can say it with pride: "Sorry Mom, I've a vegan and I don't need yo mac & cheese! I got ma own!"
Thanks to the folks over at MimicCreme, the best vegan substitute product EVER, the perfect veganized mac & cheese is now possible. You guys rock. In fact, I'm going to pledge right here, right now to dedicate my little sister's first born to you.*
*(Sorry sis...I don't think I'll be having children, or I would promise my own.)
This recipe definitely takes some work. There are some tricky ingredients to be found, and the cashew mix takes some (inactive) time, but it's worth it. I promise.
Macaroni Divorces Cheese
- 3/4 cup Raw Cashew Pieces
- 1/8 cup Nutritional Yeast
- 1 clove Garlic
- 1 tsp Salt
- 3/4 cup Water
- 1 16 oz. package Macaroni
- 6 TBSP Vegan Margarine
- 6 TBSP Flour
- 1 1/2 cup Soy Milk
- 1/2 TBSP White Miso Paste
- 1/2 TBSP Mustard Powder
- 1 1/2 cup MimicCreme
- 1/2 cup Cashew Mix
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- Fresh Ground Black Pepper (To Taste)
- 1 10 oz. block Follow Your Heart Cheddar Cheese
- 3/4 cup Breadcrumbs
This mixture will yield slightly more than needed. You only need to measure out half a cup. I just plan to make a little more because my food processor seems to eat a little of whatever I make in it.
Soak the cashews in slightly salted water for 2-3 hours. Drain well, then throw in a food processor with the remaining ingredients. Blend for 5-10 minutes, scraping down the sides occasionally, until the cashew has a very smooth consistency. Add a little more liquid if needed.
Measure out a 1/2 cup of the mixture, and set aside. It should look like so:
To Make The Sauce:
Cook Macaroni noodles until just Al dente, drain well, toss with a touch of canola oil to prevent sticking, and set aside.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Using a whisk, in a large sauce pan, melt the Earth Balance over medium-high heat. And flour, salt and pepper, and whisk together. Add the miso paste, and blend in well. Pour soy milk and MimicCreme in gradually while constantly stirring. Continue stirring until the mixture begins to boil. The sauce should have thickened up quite a bit at this point. Add the mustard powder and the cashew mix, and mix in well. Reduce the heat to medium, and add 1/3 of the "cheddar", stirring constantly. You'll know it has mixed in well when the sauce takes on an orange-ish color, and the cheese has almost completely melted. Repeat process twice more until all cheese has melted in. It should take about ten minutes. Taste to see if more salt is needed. I'm not a salt fan, so I tend to use less than most desire.
Turn of heat, and mix in Macaroni. It should look as stylin' like this:
Transfer the mac & cheese to a large, greased baking dish and top with breadcrumbs. Bake for 20 minutes, then let it cool before digging in....which of course I didn't do, and now my tongue has a battle wound.