Being vegan is the best thing I ever decided to do. But sometimes I get this pesky little craving for good old fashioned mac and cheese and it just won’t go away. So I trawled the interweb and came across a couple of recipes, most using this thing called ‘nutritional yeast’. Now, I have heard of this curious little product before and have always wanted to try it but I couldn’t seem to find it anywhere. I had looked in my health food store but I had always come back empty handed, unable to successfully locate it. But I now find that this was down to my eyes, as they say, ‘being painted on’, as whilst browsing the array of vegan mayonnaise on offer I turned around and what did I stumble on? Yup, nutritional yeast. It had been there all along, hiding from me. I was literally so happy I pretty much ran home with my find and started on the task at hand: satisfying my ever growing cravings for mac and cheese! I must say I wasn’t disappointed with the results. This was literally the best mac and cheese I have had in my life. Ever. I couldn’t get enough of it and neither could dear old flouncel. We made tonnes of the stuff, hoping that it would last a couple of days, but it’s so tasty that you’ll be lucky if it lasts the evening let alone, being able to have any for lunch the next day! But it takes less than half an hour to make so it won’t take long to whip up some more!
Without further ado::.
700g (1.5lbs) pasta, preferably macaroni but feel free to just get your favourite shape of pasta!
for the sauce:
350ml (1.5 cups) unsweetened nondairy milk
65g (1.5 cups) nutritional yeast
250ml (1 cup) vegetable oil (or canola/ rapeseed oil)
250ml (1 cup)water
80ml (1/3 cup) tamari or soy sauce
1 block of firm tofu (not silken!)
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon salt
1 dollop mustard (optional, but I highly recommend using it!)
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C or 350°F or gas mark 4. Boil some water in a pan and add the pasta. Cook according to packet’s instructions.
2. Add all the sauce ingredients together in a blender and blend until smooth.
3. Drain the pasta and put in a large baking tray. Pour the sauce over the top and whack it in the oven for around 15 minutes or until the top is a lovely golden brown and your kitchen smells deliciously cheesy (for the first time in years!)
4. Serve and enjoy!
The great thing about this recipe is the potential to go crazy with it! It’s just so versatile. Remember recipes are only the beginning of exciting culinary adventures don’t follow them mercilessly like sheep. Be adventurous and have some fun with it!
-Why not try adding a few sprinkles of fake parmesan on top
-Add in some peas or green beans or indeed any other green veggies of your choice!
-If you’re worried about the amount of oil, try using a bit less and substitute a little vegan margarine
-I don’t always like adding salt to my recipes so if you’re the same there’s no harm in adding less or even omitting it completely
-Add some bread crumbs on the top. Makes for a crisper topping! :)
-You could also use this sauce on top of cauliflower to make a delicious cauliflower cheese side dish! Perfect for those Roast dinners!
All in all, this makes for a fabulously cheesey dish to help keep those cheese cravings in check and I’m sure you’ll love it just as much as we do!