Thursday, October 4, 2012

(Vegan) Mac and Cheese

I love mac and cheese.  I'm a huge fan of all the bougie versions that have invaded fine dining.  My favorite versions are spicy, very cheesy, and egg less.  At some point, I concocted this spicy version which I still love.  Since Liam and I still can't eat dairy, I've been experimenting with various vegan recipes to concoct one that tastes pretty good.  I've made cheese sauce with daiya cheddar and it was ok, but not really that great.  While daiya is much more palatable than rice or soy "cheese," it's overwhelming as a sauce.  Last night, I made a vegan mac and "cheese" that Brad deemed "the best one so far."  It's loosely based on The Best Vegan Mac and Cheese in the Entire World .... Seriously.  You may want to try that recipe instead, but my version has less fat, less salt, more tofu, and the smoky-bacony taste of smoked paprika.

Smoky Vegan Mac/Cheese/Peas

1 box elbow macaroni (cooked per package directions)

Sauce ingredients
16 oz firm tofu.  (As always, I uses twin oaks tofu.)
3/4 cup canola oil
1 cup nutritional yeast 
1/2 cup water or unsweetened soy milk
1/4 cup spicy brown mustard
2 Tbs smoked paprika
1 Tbs Adobo seasoning

Stir-ins
1 cup frozen peas
 OR 1onion/poblano pepper/1-2 jalepenos/2 tomatos (see below)

Topping
1/4 -1/2 cup panko bread crumbs



1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. While your pasta is boiling, put all of the sauce ingredients into a food processor and puree until a smooth thick paste.
3. Spray a glass 9x11 pan with cooking spray
4. Drain the pasta and combine with the sauce and 1 cup of frozen peas directly in the baking pan.
5. Sprinkle pasta with panko and bake till golden brown (20-30 minutes). Makes 8 very large pieces.

I was cooking for Liam's palate as well as mine and Brad's so I did the classic mac/cheese/peas and added hot sauce to my portion directly. I think a spicy version would work well. In that case, you'd sautee a diced onion, 2 tomatos, in 1 Tbs olive oil with a diced poblano and a diced jalepeno.  You'd add the sauteed veggies instead of the peas.