Friday, March 12, 2010

Let's talk about macaroni and cheese

Ok, how to make vegan macaroni and cheese is probably one of the top controversies of veganism. And I'm not even talking about when omnivores are like "how can you even call that mac and cheese?" cause that's a whole nother can of spam. But no two vegans seem to like the same fake-o cheese on their macaronis!
Well, I guess that's fine--your recipe might be different from mine, but this should be a good guideline.

This recipe will make enough for just one super hungry person, but if there's more than one of you, fear not; you can scale it up with good results.
If it's dinner time and this is all you feel like eating, mix in some thawed and heated green peas.

Here we go:
Leftover pasta is great for this! Otherwise, throw 1 cup of macaroni (I like spirals or tiny penne) into a pot of boiling water (to salt or not to salt? I'll leave that up to you!)
And cook it until it's al dente, which ought to be about 9 minutes but keep checking cause soggy pasta is bad news.

Meanwhile make the sauce:
2 or 3 tbsp. nutritional yeast
2 shakes garlic powder
2 shakes reduced sodium seasoned salt (I like that stuff! Don't judge me.)
about a tsp. margarine--this is completely optional if you make the sauce in the microwave
1 pinch tumeric if you want it really yellow
black pepper
1/2 tsp. dijon mustard
awesome but optional: tahini and a splash of lemon juice
a couple spoonfuls of soy sour cream if you've got any lying around--yum
a splash of soymilk (0r almond milk or rice milk or hemp milk yata yata yata)
but if you're out of soymilk (which I sometimes am, argh) you can even substitute with water, I do it that way all the time.

Microwave instructions: Do you know anyone who says microwaved food is bad for you? What's up with that?
Put all the sauce ingredients in a bowl and stir until smooth. Microwave at about 60% just until hot--in my microwave that takes about 40 seconds, but keep checking it. If it's too thick, you can thin it out with a little more milk/water/sour cream.
Add the (drained) pasta to the bowl and stir. Yum!

If you don't have a microwave, melt the margarine in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add nutritional yeast and spices and stir to combine. Add mustard, sour cream and milk and stir, cooking until thoroughly heated. You can add more milk if you need it. Add the drained pasta and stir until coated.

EAT IT! You can even eat it right out of the pot. I won't tell.

The next question of course is what do you call your vegan mac and cheese? Mac and cheez? Mac un-cheese? My boyfriend calls it mac and trees--but he eats real cheese so maybe that has something to do with it. Anyway, I'm gonna leave that up to you.

One more thing--pour cheezy sauce over your tortilla chips for some nice nacho cheese, (which is what you call cheese that doesn't belong to you.)

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