Friday, November 18, 2011

Vegan Mac and Cheese, that will fool your biggest critics!

      Vegan macaroni and cheese is one of those items that everyone seems to think is impossible or only can be made with ground almonds and nutritional yeast (which can be yummy but you are not going to trick any meat eaters with that recipe).  My vegan cheesy mac will be delicious and might even convert some traditional dairy mac and cheese lovers over to the dark side ( everyone loves Darth Vader, come on, the dark side is the cool side, and it is cool these days to be nerdy so why not reference star wars as much as possible.).  

First important decision is to pick your pasta, when I am trying to fool a crowd I usually go for the typical elbow mac, but you definitely don’t have to.  I usually choose one of the whole grain pastas that don’t look like whole grain, so they are good for you, but don’t look healthy.  You have to keep the unhealthy illusion alive for a lot of people to like mac and cheese.     Barilla makes this plus product (although read the label because they are not all vegan) that has the nutrition of a whole wheat but looks like regular ol’ pasta.
   I also like to choose pasta that you know will hold the sauce so something curly, with ridges, or grooves to make sure that the cheesiness stays on the noodle.

The cheese sauce is the most important part of the dish so pay attention!  You will make this sauce just like any fancy chef would make a bachamel (cream based) sauce.  You can use this for any cream based pasta sauce.

Cheese Sauce ingredients:
3 tablespoons vegan butter 
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups almond milk
Seasoned salt (I use one with black pepper but use whatever you like)
3 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
4 slices vegan American cheese (you can use what every you like) 
Cheddar Diaya cheese (1 package)
3 tablespoons Vegan Cream Cheese
3 tablespoons Vegan Sour Cream
Fried Onion Strips (optional topping)



GLUTEN FREE ALERT!
***** You can make this recipe gluten free, by buying rice based sliced cheese, rice pasta, and using either tapioca flour or rice flour to thicken the roux.  It tastes just as delicious. *****