Lately I’ve been eating so much tempeh. I used to never cook it, because I felt like I could never completely remove the bitterness, but steaming the heck out of it for 15 minutes seems to work. This creamy Italian-flavored mac is accompanied by noochy tempeh and sautéed broccoli rabe. It’s the result of me having a block of tempeh and wanting to do something other than buffalo tempeh wings.
This is the laziest, junk food-iest mac & cheese I’ve ever made, and it’s awesome. If you like cheese substitutes, that is. I can’t really envision this working without a cheese substitute, unless perhaps you used a very thick cashew cream. I cooked mine for a little longer than I should have, so it was super mushy. But somehow that worked out. The best part about this recipe? You don’t even have to boil the pasta!
Since I have an aversion to deep frying, these mac & cheese bites were baked at a high temperature to achieve maximum crispiness. You can use whatever mac & cheese recipe here you like, because the key to keeping your bites from falling apart is using cold mac (which also makes this a great way to use leftover mac, if you have any).
I served mine with ranch dip, but a spicy ketchup or BBQ sauce would also be yummy.
Jalapeño poppers are without a doubt the perfect snack food. To me, at least. So of course for Vegan MoFo I’m gonna stuff ’em with mac. This recipe is pretty easy, but I’d recommend using latex gloves to seed the jalapeños, otherwise you’ll have spicy fingers for eternity. The bigger the peppers, the better, because they can hold more mac and are usually milder. Also, a smaller pasta is necessary here. I used small shells, but elbow macaroni would work fine, too. Now on to the recipe..
While happily eating the truffle mac and cheese, my partner stopped and said to me, “You know what would be really good in this? Crab cakes.”
I would have never thought of it, and I love making faux crab cakes. Basically I’ll look for any excuse to use a ton of Old Bay in whatever I’m cooking, so the next night I repeated the recipe but mixed in all the ingredients I’d use to make crab cakes. I figured actually making crab cakes and then breaking them up into the mac & cheese would just be a waste of time, since it’s all going to get cooked together anyway. And to be honest, this tastes a lot like tuna noodle casserole.
The best part? No fake meat or cheese needed! Although they wouldn’t hurt. Most of these ingredients, save for the nutritional yeast, can be found in normal grocery stores.
Man is it hard to get a good photo of baked mac and cheese. Depending on the recipe, it can just end up looking like a lumpy blob.
See what I mean? Maybe a closeup will help…
Still a lumpy blob. Although I couldn’t get great photos, this recipe is AMAZING. It’s cashew and coconut milk based, with truffle oil and shiitake mushrooms mixed in. It’s so rich and creamy, with a distinct mushroom-y flavor. This would be ideal for a chilly fall evening, and is my go-to mac & cheese when I want to impress omnis! I ate mine with BBQ tempeh.
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.
Vegan MoFo 2013 has begun! As I mentioned a few posts ago, my theme is mac & cheese. This month I will explore all aspects of vegan mac & cheese making.
But before I start cooking, I have to talk ingredients. What do you need to have on hand to make vegan m&c? Nothing fancy, really. Yea, you can use fake cheese, sour cream, Veganaise or other expensive ingredients you’d have to go out of your way to buy, but really, you just need these 4 things: