My poor mind is a jumble of chaos lately. I just got back from a trip to Colorado from Germany a few days ago. We are PCSing there with the Army in about a month so I went over BY MYSELF to buy a house. This was the first time I’ve ever been without my two children. As refreshing as it was, it only took me about a day before I started to feel like my arms were missing… Kind of took me a while before I knew how to be myself again without them in tow, haha. But the trip was successful and we officially have purchased our first house in the lovely city of Colorado Springs! I’m originally from Upstate NY and have never lived anywhere quite like that before so I am really excited to be able to have this upcoming experience. As hard as being a military wife is, you do get some really great opportunities with travel! So anywaaaaaaays, we still have a month before we leave and I literally can not think about anything other than moving and our new house. Not even food. Which is totally abnormal for me. So the next few months, during this transition, might be a little rocky for the blog. My focus is going to be off, but I will try to keep things going the best I can!
Today, I wanted to share a GREAT recipe for a Vegan Macaroni and Cheese! I was inspired by one that I found floating around Pinterest. It had such fantastic reviews that I had to try it. And it was extremely delicious- even Dave (Mr. Anti-Anything-Creamy) liked it! Shock of the century right there folks :O
I did have one qualm with the recipe though, and I noticed that a few of the other commenters were curious about the same thing as well- was there any way to make this great recipe WITHOUT using cashews or vegan margarine (Earth Balance)???? One of the greatest selling points of this recipe was that it was without the use of nutritional yeast, which some people just don’t care for. But! What about those people that are interested in eating really clean or have allergies to nuts or don’t have a high-speed blender? I wanted to re-create this recipe into something everybody could make and enjoy. Because no mac and cheese lover should have to go without!
To make things work without the thickening power of the cashews, I simply went with my old stand-by: millet flour thickened non-dairy milk. You could also use all-purpose flour.
And a simple swap of olive oil for the vegan margarine took care of the other problem. You may also use organic canola or sunflower oil in place as well. I’m not sure about coconut oil… but it will more than likely work. Just try to use refined coconut oil otherwise there might be a slight coconut taste to the mac and cheese.
So, basically what you’re left with is a GREAT Vegan Macaroni and Cheese recipe that does NOT call for nutritional yeast, soy, cashews, margarine, OR fake cheese! Something that, believe it or not, is actually pretty hard to find…
Plus! This recipe includes potatoes, carrots, and onion. So you’re sneaking a little veggies in there too… hehehe. That’s probably my favorite part. I actually ended up using ’rounded’ amounts of the carrot and onion… I just can’t control myself when it comes to sneaking veggies.
And if you want your Mac & Cheese to have more of that common ‘yellow’ color to it, add 1/4 teaspoon or so of ground turmeric! You don’t taste it, plus! It is super good for you.
- 10 ounces elbow macaroni pasta, approximately 2 cups dry
- 1 cup (about 7 ounces) chopped Yukon gold potatoes (with or without peel)
- ¼ cup chopped, peeled carrots
- ⅓ cup chopped onion
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons millet or all-purpose flour
- ½ cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon garlic, minced (about 1 small clove) or ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- FOR THE TOPPING:
- 2 slices whole-wheat bread, torn into large pieces
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a medium saucepan, add the potatoes, carrots, onion and 1 cup water; bring to a boil then lower to a simmer and cook, covered, for 15 minutes, or until vegetables are easily pierced with a fork.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente; drain and place back into pot.
- Place the olive oil in a small saucepan and heat over medium. Add the flour and cook, stirring occasionally, about 1 minute. Slowly add milk, while continuously whisking. Allow mixture to simmer on low, uncovered, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the milk mixture, salt, garlic, mustard, lemon juice, pepper, softened vegetables and cooking water to the blender or food processor and process until perfectly smooth. Pour the sauce over the cooked pasta and combine completely. The sauce will thicken as it cooks and continue to do so as it cools.
- Pour into an un-greased 11x7-inch dish; evenly top with prepared breadcrumb mixture, if using. Bake for 30 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling and the top is golden brown.
- FOR THE TOPPING (OPTIONAL): Put the pieces of bread, 2 teaspoons olive oil and paprika in a food processor and process until combined to make crumbs, set aside.
To give the sauce a more yellow color- use ¼ to ½ teaspoon ground turmeric.