Long, long ago, in grocery stores very much like our own, aisles weren’t filled with vegan cheese and meat substitutes like they are today. There was no Daiya. Many of us didn’t really know that by soaking and blending cashews you could make cream. Almond milk was a weird thing only available from a few brands. It was rice and soy milk, Follow Your Heart cheeses and a whole lot of “making it work.” This recipe reminds me of living in Pittsburgh, a city that wasn’t very vegan friendly, where I had to make 90% of the food I ate. Yea, I grew up eating Kraft, but I barely remember what that tastes like. This is my comfort mac.
This was the first cheese sauce I learned how to make. I don’t even remember where I found it. Probably VegWeb and later, saw a similar version in Veganomicon. I’ve made this sauce a LOT over the years, and I’ve perfected it. This recipe is what got my partner to go vegan and, let’s be honest, probably fall in love with me, too. When they saw me mixing the dry ingredients and then looked over a few minutes later and saw sauce, they asked me what sort of “magic” I was doing.
I will tell you right now that taste-wise, this mac & cheese isn’t the best. It’s really good, but it’s not great. I’ve figured out the mac and cheese game and this isn’t the winning recipe. But, if you don’t have cashews, or a blender, or the resources to get fake cheese, this recipe is your best friend. The sauce also makes a good nacho dip if you mix in half a cup of salsa.