Monday, February 4, 2013

My Favorite Mac and Cheese {By Request}

Mac and Cheese is considered ultimate comfort food...right along with pizza and chicken noodle soup. It's hard to find a really GOOD vegan Mac and Cheese. The sauces are either too cashewy, too lemony, too pimiento-y, or too yeasty (in my opinion) ;-) I asked a friend of mine if she had a good one to share. When I tried it, I loved it. My husband loved it...and my children really didn't. But they like it now! 

I must admit, this isn't an original recipe. I wish it was, but it's been circulating for years. Jim and Neva Brackett developed this recipe and published it in their cookbook, 7 Secrets {a great resource, by the way!}.

We enjoy this dish two ways: just as pictured, or dressed up a little bit with a nice "buttered" breadcrumb top.

1 cup canned coconut milk
1/2 cup cashews
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup pimientos
1 T lemon juice
Scant 1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tsp dried or granulated onion
2 1/4 cups water
1 lb. desired pasta (shells, tubes, or elbows work well)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta until al dente. Remove from heat and drain.  Meanwhile, begin cheese sauce. 

In a blender, combine all ingredients and blend until very, very smooth. If you have a blender other than a VitaMix or BlendTech (sp), you may want to blend the ingredients with only half of the water, adding the rest as it becomes more smooth. With conventional blenders, you will need to blend the mixture for about 5 minutes or so until the cashew pieces are completely pulverized! 

Pour cheese sauce into a large sauce pan and, stirring frequently, bring to a low boil until it begins to thicken. Pour sauce over noodles and stir to combine. Serve immediately, or cover with seasoned bread crumbs and bake at 375 degrees until bread crumbs turn a lovely brown. 

We enjoy this dish with steamed fresh broccoli and a protein such as veggie hot dogs or burgers.

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