Vegan Mac+Cheese II
I adapted this recipe from Sophia DeSantis’ inspired food blog www.veggiesdontbite.com. She has a wonderful hand for transforming dairy-heavy conventional dishes into lighter vegan versions. She does use some ingredients that are a bit challenging to find, but that helps us to be more resourceful! (Hint: For chickpea miso, try online or WholeFoods.)
This particular recipe serves 10, more or less; it both freezes well AND keeps for a couple of days in the fridge. Make the sauce first, then assemble the dish when ready. If the sauce is already made, the dish takes about 20 minutes to assemble, and a further 20 minutes in the oven.
1 quantity Sharp White Cheese Sauce; recipe is below.
1 ½ cups water – great way to use up vegetable cooking water
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tso ground mustard seed, Colman’s dry mustard, or wholegrain mustard
¾ tsp chickpea miso
1 tsp sea salt
24 oz gluten-free pasta – I use brown rice pasta, but there are other options
½ cup hemp seeds
2 slices gluten-free bread, toasted, in chunks
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp sea salt
Optional: 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Blend the ingredients for the cheese sauce until perfectly smooth. Add the water, extra apple cider, mustard, miso, and salt. Blend again. It will be rather thin, but baking it with the pasta will restore the balance, so trust the process!
3. In plenty of salted water, cook the macaroni for 2/3 of the recommended time, until barely al dente. DO NOT OVERCOOK or the baked dish will be mushy.
4. While the pasta is cooking, put all the topping ingredients into a food processor or Nutri-Bullet and process until well mixed.
5. Once the pasta is cooked – well, undercooked – drain and rise well. Return to the pot in mix in the cheese sauce.
6. Pour into a 9” x 12” ovenproof dish, smooth it out, and sprinkle with the topping to the depth you prefer. Personally, I like lots of crunchiness.
7. Bake for 15-20 minutes until crisp on top. Serve warm.
Sharp White Cheese Sauce – Vegan
This is truly the best ‘cheese’ sauce I’ve ever tasted – even better than my own, although more complicated to make. This quantity makes 3½ cups, or a bit more if you like it thinner.
2 cups starchy potato (about 3-4 russet or red potatoes), cut into cubes
2 Tbsp yellow pepper (maybe a third of a medium sized pepper)
3 Tbsp yellow carrots (about 4-5 yellow baby carrots or one medium sized)
5 Tbsp yellow onion (one small or ½ medium onion)
½ cup raw cashews, soaked overnight or for 30 minutes in hot water
1 tsp roasted garlic (about 2-4 crushed cloves, depending on size)
2 tsp organic apple cider vinegar
1-2 tsp mustard seed powder (use less or more according to how sharp you like the flavor); I find Colman’s mustard works well, or you can grind your own mustard seeds
1¼ tsp chickpea miso; if you can’t find any, use 2 tsp white miso, which is milder
1½ tsp sea salt, or according to taste
Optional: ground organic horseradish
1. Peel the garlic and wrap it in tin foil with a splash of veggie broth. Roast at 400*F, in a regular or toaster oven, while you cook the vegetables.
2. Put potatoes (peel if you don’t want specks of skin), yellow pepper, carrots, onion, and cashews in a pot and cover with water. Cook over high heat until water boils, about 15 minutes if uncovered. Turn heat to medium and boil another 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender when tested with a fork. Drain the water, keeping some to thin out the sauce if you prefer it thinner.
3. In the meantime, puree the cashews in a NutriBullet, high-speed blender or food processor and set aside.
4. Place the cooked vegetables in the blender. Add the rest of the ingredients including cashews. Blend on high until you get a creamy gooey consistency. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides from time to time. Process until perfectly smooth.
5. Taste and adjust ground mustard seed for a sharper flavor if desired. Add optional horse radish if you would like it sharper still.
If you want to thin out the sauce, add some of the reserved cooking water, 1 tablespoon at a time until you get the desired consistency. Use it while it’s nice and hot!
This sauce can be made in advance and reheated very gently in a saucepan or microwave, with a bit of plant milk if required to obtain the right consistency.
The sauce also freezes well; just be sure to thaw it slowly in the fridge. It may separate a bit, but if you stir as you warm it up the consistency will improve.
Click HERE for the printable .pdf file.