So several days ago, Jared and I made an unofficial pact of sorts. And just so you know, I'm making it official, okay? This pact was to discover the holy grail of vegan mac and cheese recipes, blazing through as many bowls as necessary to discover true greatness.
I wasn't entirely sure where to start, but then I remembered the simple and delicious white sauce I made for my vegan tuna noodle casserole, and thought that making a roux would be as good a place to start as any. It already had the creamy and rich thing going for it; it just needed a bit of cheesy flava.
Well my first real attempt is definitely a delicious starting point. I'd say it's a darn-near perfect replica of the white cheddar mac and cheese, it just lacks the vibrant orange hue of the Kraft stuff that I grew up on. So watch out, Kraft, I'm gonna veganize that!
Logan loved it, which is fantastic since he typically dislikes cheesy vegan sauces - it's a nooch thing. As we were eating it he said with a smile, "I love vegan food. Man, people really think we're deprived?"
My dad had several samples of the sauce and said, "what is this sauce?"
"It's good. I like it."
So if a vegan cheese sauce can have my dad's seal of approval, believe me, we're on to something here.
Vegan Mac and Cheese
Serves 4...or 3 very hungry appetites
Enough cooked pasta for 4 people (about 350 grams uncooked)
1/4 cup margarine
1 small onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
2 cups vegetable broth
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon regular mustard
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
Salt, to taste (isn't necessary if your vegetable broth is salty)
Sauteed swiss chard and broccoli (optional but I love greens in my mac)
Freshly ground pepper (optional)
1. In a small pot, melt the margarine over medium-low heat. Pulse the onion and garlic in a small food processor or blender until fairly smooth, and add to the margarine. Saute until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the flour, stir well and cook for a couple of minutes. Slowly pour in the vegetable broth, using a wire whisk to make the mixture smooth and clump-free. When all the broth has been added, bring the mixture just to a boil, stirring frequently, and then remove from the heat. Stir in the nutritional yeast, mustard, turmeric and optional salt, to taste.
2. Combine the cheese sauce with the cooked pasta, and top your pasta bowl with the cooked greens and a sprinkle of freshly ground pepper if you so desire.
When I was a kid, I didn't eat greens in my mac, but I bet I would have, no lie. My mom tells me I liked salad and vegetables as a kid. Me and greens, I think it was meant to be.
Well, I'm off to go play a show with ma' band, and kick these Halloween celebrations off a little early. Cheers!