Creamy Vegan Mac and Cheese

Vegan Mac and Cheese 3

No, it isn’t cheese…even though it kind of looks like it.

Instead, it’s a creamy, flavorful alternative to the dairy stuff that will leave you richly satisfied in your decision to leave the cows alone.

I always feel bad when a non-vegan tastes vegan “cheese” for the first time. Like, how can this stuff be described except to call it a cheese alternative? We all know that, in reality, not a single one of the veg “cheese” alternatives out there tastes like real cheese.

Therefore, may I introduce you to not-real-cheese-but-still-delicious-creamy-yellow-sauce-over-macaroni??

Okay, that’s just way too cumbersome.

Whatevs. Call it “cheese.” Just give your non-veg friends a fair warning, mkay?

Vegan Mac and Cheese Blender

A few weeks ago, I discovered this recipe for vegan macaroni and cheese which was described by VegNews to be the “best on the planet.” I knew I had to give it a try, but that I couldn’t exactly follow the recipe (because, as you probably know by now, I don’t follow recipes). The original recipe calls for over 1/3 cup of vegan margarine. I just couldn’t do it. I use plenty of vegan margarine in cakes and desserts, when I eat them, but for mac and cheese? For Little M?

I just had to replace it with something else. And then, I had to add a few more items, because ya’all know that’s my nature.

So, today I bring you my crazily adapted recipe and what has become my favorite vegan mac and cheese–with no refined oil.

Who knew that potatoes, carrots, onion, cashews, coconut milk, and seasonings could make such a fabulous creamy combination? And that, when mixed with macaroni, that crazy combination will make your taste buds leap for joy?

Vegan Mac and Cheese Mixing

Can I just eat it out of the pan like a bachelor?

Vegan Mac and Cheese 1

Okay, I’ll lay aside my strong animal-like urge to devour and take a moment to sprinkle paprika and parsley on the top.

Vegan Mac and Cheese 2

And that, my friends, is as far as got with photographing this bowl of yumminess  before I starting eating it. Sometimes, you just can’t wait any longer, you know?

Vegan Mac and Cheese Square

Creamy Vegan Mac and Cheese
 
Prep time
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Super Creamy Vegan Mac and Cheese
Author:
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4-5
Ingredients
  • 10 ounces dried macaroni (or about 2⅔ cups)
  • 1 cup peeled/diced yellow potatoes (or russets)
  • ¼ cup peeled/diced carrots
  • ⅓ cup chopped onion
  • ¾ cup water (preferably use liquid from pot of boiled veggies)
  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 pinch paprika
Instructions
  1. Cook macaroni al dente, according to package instructions (usually requires boiling for 6-8 minutes in salted water), drain, and set aside.
  2. Bring several cups of water to boil in a small pot. Place chopped potatoes, carrots, and onion in the boiling water, and cook for about 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender and soft enough to blend. Cooking time will vary slightly, based on how small you have chopped your veggies.
  3. When veggies are soft enough to blend, use a slotted spoon to remove them from cooking water, and place them in your blender. Add ¾ cup of that cooking water to your blender, along with your remaining ingredients.
  4. Blend until smooth.
  5. Pour sauce over your cooked macaroni noodles in a dish of your choice, taste for salt, and serve immediately.
  6. Or, place macaroni mixture in a baking dish, sprinkle with bread crumbs, and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes, or until crumbs are turning golden brown.
Notes
If you are not using a high-speed blender (like Vitamix of Blendtec) for this recipe, I recommend soaking your cashews for at least 30 minutes before attempting this recipe.
This recipe is adapted from VegNews’ Vegan Macaroni and Cheese: http://vegnews.com/articles/page.do?pageId=40&catId=10

 

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Easy Oatmeal Waffles

Oatmeal Waffles 1

So, I took a break last week–from blogging, that is. This pregnancy has progressed to the point where I feel huge, food doesn’t always look good anymore, and all I want is a clean house. I’m totally not complaining, because I was beginning to eat myself out of house and home anyway. PLUS, a little extra motivation to clean is never a bad thing, right?

I can barely see the outline of my toes now. She’s getting to be a big baby girl at 31 weeks.

Update 1Ahem! As I was saying…I’ve been doing more cleaning than cooking this week, which means that I didn’t post any weekly lunch ideas last Saturday night or any new recipes. Woops.

Instead, I cleaned out my refrigerator, organized my bathroom, and packed up some of little M’s winter clothes.

Here is my disastrously disgusting fridge. BEFORE. I know what you’re thinking. “Ewwwwwww!!” Yep, me too.

Dirty Fridge Before

And here it is after an hour or two of scrubbing and organizing and tossing. You’ll have to admit that it looks way way way better. Yah?

Clean Fridge After

To change the subject completely, have I ever told you that little M is an extremely picky eater? Well now you know.

Just the other day I made a creamy potato/corn soup, just for her. I was sure she would eat it.

Nope.

I managed to shove a few pieces of potatoes into her mouth, but if she ever found a corn kernel, it would most assuredly be returned to me in a half-chewed state. Forgive me if you just lost your appetite. Seriously, though, what toddler doesn’t like organic corn?? And potatoes?? In a creamy soup with blended-up cashews? I’m at my whit’s end.

And then, there were oatmeal waffles…

Oatmeal Waffles 2

They were light, crispy on the edges, moist, and delicious. Little M won’t stop eating them–even without any peanut butter or syrup on them (SCORE!).

Okay, so Little M isn’t getting her green leafies in through these waffles, but hey, they’ve got oatmeal in them. Who can argue that oatmeal isn’t pretty good for you? I’m going to say that these waffles are healthy, easy, and apparently addictive (at least to my Little M).

Oatmeal Waffles Square 2

Okay, ready for the recipe?

It comes as an adaptation from my beautiful friend Rebecca and her family–who first introduced me to oatmeal/cornmeal waffles while I was in early pregnancy with Baby #2. Nearly everything made me nauseated–except these waffles. I devoured them, and, pregnant or not, I think you will too.

Easy Vegan Oatmeal Waffles
 
Prep time
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Easy Vegan Oatmeal Waffles
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 6 cups quick oats
  • ¼ cup raw cashews (soaked in warm water, if you don’t have a high-speed blender)
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons flax meal
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil (or oil of your choice, optional)
  • 10 cups very hot water (divided)
Instructions
  1. In a clean/dry blender, blend dry oats up into a coarse flour. You may need to divide oats into 2-3 batches. Place coarse oat flour into large mixing bowl.
  2. Preheat waffle iron.
  3. Blend raw cashews up with 2 cups water. Pour cashew mixture, along with cornmeal, salt, flax, and oil into your large mixing bowl.
  4. Now add your remaining 8 cups of water. You may start by adding only 6 cups, and add 2 more cups later as your batter sits and thickens. Your batter will seem WAY to runny and watery. Carefully pour it onto your waffle iron, and you will be amazed by how quickly it thickens up and becomes crispy. You don’t want this batter to be as thick as traditional waffle batter, as your waffles will turn out too dense. As the oatmeal flour reacts with the hot water, your batter will gradually thicken.
  5. Cook waffles according to instructions on your waffle iron, or until the tops are golden and crispy. This may take more time than your waffle-iron timer indicates. My waffle-iron required about 10 minutes took the waffles all the way through.
Notes
This recipe is designed for traditional waffle irons, not Belgian waffle irons. I’ve not tried this recipe on my Belgian iron, but I’m guessing your waffles may turn out really goopy on the inside, or at least need to be cooked much longer than usual.

“Better a little with the fear of the Lord than great wealth with turmoil.

“Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred.”

                      Proverbs 15: 16-17 (New International Version)

 

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