While perusing facebook I came across this recipe for vegan macaroni & cheese. There are lots of recipes out there, but this specific recipe caught my eye because it said that it won 3rd prize in a mac & cheese contest, and the judges had no idea it was even vegan! So in other words...it beat out others that contained real cheese! I knew then that I had to try it. So I did, and loved it. So did my daughter (see picture below). This is now a staple at family holidays, and my family LOVES it...and they're my most honest critics!
Here is Gretchen’s Velvet Vegan Joy Mac n Cheese which she tweaked from a VegNews recipe. Vegan or not, you will love it! Enjoy!
- 8 oz macaroni
- 3 slices of bread torn into large pieces
- 1/2-1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 Tbsp. + 1/3 cup Earth Balance
- 2 Tbsp. chopped shallots
- 1 cup peeled, chopped potatoes
- 1/4 cup chopped carrots
- 1/3 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup sliced onion
- 1/4 cup raw cashews
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/8 tsp cayenne
- 1/2 tsp paprika, plus extra for sprinkling
- 1/4 -1/3 cup nutritional yeast* (highly recommended, but optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1) Cook the macaroni in plenty of salted boiling water just until al dente. Drain pasta and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
2) In a food processor, whir the bread, garlic powder, and 2 tablespoons margarine to a medium-fine texture. Set aside.
3) In a saucepan, add shallots, potatoes, carrots, 1/3 cup onion, and water, and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and simmer for 15 minutes, or until vegetables are very soft.
4) While those are simmering, fry the 1/2 cup sliced onions in olive oil. Set aside.
5) In a blender, process the cashews, salt, garlic, rest of the margarine, mustard, lemon juice, black pepper, and cayenne. Add softened vegetables and their cooking water to the blender along with the nutritional yeast and process until perfectly velvety smooth.
6) In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta and blended cheese sauce until completely coated. Spread mixture into a casserole dish, top with fried onions, sprinkle with breadcrumbs, and dust with paprika. Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese sauce is bubbling and the top is gently browned.
* In case you don't know about this wonder food, nutritional yeast is a cheesy, flaky/powdery condiment that is packed with protein, B vitamins, calcium, and other minerals. (It's often in a shaker at cool movie theaters because it's so great on greasy popcorn, the flavor is wonderful when it's mixed with fatty stuff.)