Mac and No-Cheese

Mac and No-Cheese

This recipe has been a long time coming. When we switched to a plant-based diet I just assumed that our Mac ‘n’ Cheese days were over. But the cravings for it kept popping up. As I learned more about cooking the vegan way, I started to think that maybe it was possible. Maybe we can eat this bad, yet soooooo good, dish again

As I got to know the vegan product offerings at the health food store, I knew that I could probably buy a few different vegan cheeses and sauces, and mix them with pasta to create this dish. But for whatever reason, preparing it that way just seemed fake to me. It felt like making mac and cheese out of the box vs the home-made version of the dish. But then, one day, it simply clicked. I knew exactly what I needed to do to create this epic mac and no-cheese that we have here.

I have to give credit to Ryan for this one though, as he was the one who stumbled across a recipe for a vegan cheese sauce that turned out amazing for this dish. This sauce was creamy and cheesy, slightly garlicy, a bit mustardy, and with a couple of modifications it ended up being exactly what we were after. The one thing that this sauce didn't have, is that it didn't quite brown when baked the way you’d expect a good mac and cheese dish to. Thankfully, I had an answer for that. We've been making our own pizza cheese-type spread for months, and it browned and spread over pizza just perfectly. I knew that it would work just as well on our mac and cheese dish. And it did. Even though this recipe requires making two separate sauces, don’t get discouraged. The sauces come together really fast. Just boil some pasta while the sauces are cooking, then mix, spread, bake, and finally enjoy the gooey macaroni goodness.

Mac and No-Cheese

Mac and No-Cheese

Yield

Makes 8 servings

Prep time

Active time:

Total time:

How it's made

Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C)

 

Sauce 1

 

½ cup flour

 

Place into a medium-sized pot and heat on medium heat, whisking constantly to break all the flour lumps. Cook until the sauce becomes smooth and thick (about 5 - 7 minutes).

½ cup nutritional yeast

2 tsp salt

½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp mustard powder

¼ tsp pepper

2 cups water

 

3 tbsp vegan butter or margarine

 

Add to the sauce and whisk for another 2 - 3 minutes, or until butter is melted and integrated with the rest of the sauce. Remove from the heat.

 

Sauce 2

 

2 cups warm water

 

Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth (about 1 minute). Transfer the mixture into a medium pot and cook on medium, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens (about 5 minutes). Remove from the heat.

½ cup cashews

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

5 tsp tapioca flour

2 tsp lemon juice

1½ tsp salt

 

Assembly

 

1 lb box of macaroni

 

Cook as per package directions.

 

Place cooked macaroni into a big bowl. Add Sauce 1 to the macaroni and mix well. Transfer the mixture into a baking dish (about 2l size; I used one whose dimensions were 9.5” x 12”). Pour Sauce 2 over the macaroni and spread over the entire surface of the dish. Place into the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until it browns on top.

Helpful tips

This dish tastes best when warm. It will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days. To reheat, simply bake in the oven at 400°F(200°C) for 10 minutes, or until heated through.