I have been promising, intending, mentally compiling, and now actually composing my bit of guest bloggage for my amazing sister’s Vegan Squared. No need to fasten seat belts for a culinary dash around the world, get cozy and lean in for the scoop on Macaroni and Cheese Vegan, Virginia Style. (Note to the more persnick reader: The recipe is Virginia Style, because that’s where it is made. If my family moves to the much-more-fabulous BEACH it will thence be BEACH Style. Feel free to call yours -insert your home name here- Style. For that matter, please take all due credit for making it up yourself; I don’t mind in the least!)
ANYWAY. Macaroni and Cheese is important to my family in a way that makes me get all teary and think about baby animals and sunshine. Really, minus a vegetable, and sometimes vegetables can be unwanted guests at a meal, it is a meal unto itself. Arguably it can be considered a side like mashed potatoes, but who would balk at a bowl of macaroni and cheese for lunch? Try the same thing with mashed potatoes…not even close, right?
This recipe sprang from my head one night over the holidays while I struggled with my desire to cheat on my vegan life-choice for a macaroni and cheese fix (the ultimate day-after-MUCH-merrymaking-food). Additionally, my house was full of kids, who minus the two youngest, had been slogging through puberty long enough their taste buds had helpfully dulled enough to tolerate more than the boringest foods.
I did what mothers do, opened the refrigerator, combed the cupboards, made a pile on the counter, grabbed the food processer and got serious. As my vision narrowed and a plan came together, this is the recipe for how it went down….
Combine in a food processor on puree, heavy-process mode
1 12 oz tofu (since it's being basically liquefied, I am pretty sure any type would do)
1 10oz block of Vegan Gourmet Cheddar—IT MELTS! (I pre-shred it before tossing it into the food processor because it’s so easy)
+/-¼ cup soymilk to obtain thick, cheese sauce consistency (water, rice milk, whatever works as well)
1 c nutritional yeast (because it's so AMAZING in its cheesy likeness, but I recommend stealth should any prospective eaters likely be skeevy about eating yeast…..not everyone can be so enlightened. This recipe works because my husband is always strategically out of the room while I am making it.)
1 teaspoon salt, some pepper if desired (cayenne is fun, too!)
Fill larger-sized casserole dish with 1 ½ - 2 16 oz boxes of pasta (sized and shape are personal. I lean toward macaroni noodles, but only if they don’t have ridges on them. See what I mean?!)
Pour on cheese sauce and mix to coat
Add 1 - 2 14 oz tubes of Lightlife Gimme Lean (Ground Beef Style) depending entirely on personal feelings about meaty macaroni and cheese. (We like lots of Gimme Lean and I have been known to toss in leftover Smart Dogs as well! Leave it out altogether if you prefer.)
|Mac n Cheese Porn|
(Here is where some people might try to sneak in a detestable vegetable, like peas, that always seem to worm their way in where they are clearly not wanted…….. Everyone, it is totally OKAY to skip the vegetable sometimes! Pea Cheering Section, do what makes you happy!)
Top with crushed chips (Jalapeno Kettle Chips ROCK!) if you so choose
Bake 30-45 minutes at around 400-425
I hope you like it. We love the vegan-ness of it and its very tasty macaroni and cheesiness of it. I must add, however, that my younger children adhere strictly to an Annie’s only policy when it comes to macaroni and cheese (on their off days from omelets, pizza, and veggie burgers……..). Eat what you like. Rock on!