Next up in the spotlight – macaroni & cheese! This classic American dish has many variations and all are great in their own individual way. But Vegan mac and cheese on the other hand, not so much. The mixture of potatoes, carrots, and onions, boiled then blended together have never appealed to me in any shape or form. I like to say, it looks like mac & cheese, smells like mac & cheese, but is definitely far far from mac & cheese. This is my take on the everyday childhood dish and it’s one I fully support. There are numerous vegan cheeses out there today and no need to keep blending veggies in their place. Don’t get me wrong, there are terrible vegan cheeses on the market, but the good ones make up for them. A few of my favorite cheese brands are Follow Your Heart, Miyokos, Violife, and GOVEGGIE. Many of these are available nationwide now-a-days, so give them a shot. What I love about this recipe is the simplicity, its all blended in a blender, then heated on the stove with the cheese. No worrying about a roux or chopping of any herbs. It’s a simple macaroni dish that pulls on those hearts strings of nostalgia one bite at a time. Your days of making veggies into a macaroni are over and you’ll never look back!
1 Clove of Garlic
2 Tsp Dijon
1/8 Tsp Nutmeg
1 Cup Soaked Raw Cashews
2 Cup Plant-Based Milk
1/2 Cup Nutritional Yeast
1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tsp Paprika
Salt & Pepper to Taste
1 Block or Bag Vegan Cheddar Cheese (Miyokos is my go-to)
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Container Elbow Pasta
Make sure you have soaked your cashews overnight or for a few hours, if you are in a pinch, soak the cashews in boiling water 30 minutes beforehand.
Cook pasta as directed on box. Remove and drain just before al dente.
Meanwhile, in a blender, add garlic, dijon, nutmeg, paprika, vinegar, nutritional yeast, milk, cashews, salt and pepper. Blend for about a minute or until smooth.
In a sauce pan over medium heat, add the olive oil and blended mixture. Heat until warm and add the shredded cheese. Continue heating until the cheese has melted. It might take longer than expected, but the cheese should integrate pretty well. If too thick, add some pasta water to thin out.
Add the sauce to the pasta and mix together. Use additional pasta water to thin until it reaches your desired consistency. Salt and pepper to taste.
Top with more cheese, and bread crumbs if desired.