Thursday, October 2, 2008
VEGAN MOFO AND HOMEY NEW VEGAN MAC'N'CHEEZE RECIPE
Okay, I was late finding out about Vegan MoFo (Vegan Month of Food). I admit it. I'm embarrassed. My excuse is being buried in a manuscript and not have much time to blog-surf. But, I'm only a day late! I'm hoping to post something every weekday, as PPK suggests. (I will be away this weekend, in any case, next weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, and the NEXT weekend I'll have company, so weekends are pretty much out this month!)
The weather changed abruptly today and we have dark clouds, wind and rain (not really that cold, though). This makes my thoughts turn to homey vegan comfort food. What could be more homey than mac'n'cheese (or cheeze)?
I'm always trying to improve on my vegan macaroni and cheese recipe. I think I have two different recipes published in books, and probably more online somewhere. This latest is creamy and yummy, and it can be be made both soy-free and gluten-free, if need be. It's good both plain and with additions, such as the broccoli suggested in my recipe. But why not add red peppers, vegetarian "ham", vegetarian "sausage", olives...?
BRYANNA'S NEW BAKED VEGAN MACARONI AND CHEEZE
For a spicy version, add some canned chipotle pepper to taste and maybe some Field Roast Mexican Chipotle Sausage.
8 oz macaroni or penne (can be whole wheat; can be gluten-free)
Cooked Mixture for Sauce:
1 1/2 cups plain (original) nondairy milk
1/2 cup extra-firm silken tofu
OR (for soy-free) 1/4 cup raw cashews plus 1/4 cup more non-soy, non-dairy milk (soak the cashews in hot water for 5 minutes and drain before blending)
1/4 cup unbleached white flour OR, for gluten-free, white rice flour (or mochiko-- sweet rice flour)
1 tsp chicken-style vegetarian broth powder or paste (see info here)
1 tsp salt
Additional Ingredients for Sauce:
1 cup water
1/2 cup tahini
1/3 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1/4 cup chopped roasted red pepper (from a jar, rinsed)
1 1/2 Tbs miso (not the dark variety)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder or granules
freshly-ground black pepper to taste
8 to 16 oz broccoli or cauliflower flowerettes, sliced into thin slices and blanched (partially-cooked)
1/2 cup breadcrumbs (panko is fine; can be gluten-free bread or fine cracker crumbs)
oil from a pump-sprayer
Boil the macaroni in lots of salted water until tender, but al dente. Drain. (If you are using the broccoli, prepare that as directed and set aside.)
While the macaroni cooks, preheat the oven to 350°F.
Mix the "Cooked Mixture for Sauce" ingredients in a blender and process until very smooth. Pour the mixture into a medium, heavy saucepan. Stir over medium-high heat until it thickens and boils; turn down and simmer on low for a few minutes.
MICROWAVE OPTION: Pour the mixture a 1 qt. microwave-safe bowl measuring pitcher. Microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes. Whisk. Microwave for 2 more minutes. Whisk. Microwave for 2 minutes more.
Rinse out the blender.
Place the "Additional Ingredients for Sauce" into the blender. Add the Cooked Mixture to the blender. Process until very smooth.
In a large bowl, mix the cooked macaroni (and broccoli, if using) and the sauce together well. (It will seem like you have too much sauce, but, don't worry, the pasta will soak it up!) Scoop the mixture into a "buttered" (with Earth Balance) 2 qt. casserole or baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with the breadcrumbs and spray lightly with oil from a spray-pump. Bake for about 30 minutes (uncovered). Serve hot.
(Nutrition Facts were calculated using Silk soymilk, silken tofu, whole wheat macaroni, and panko, with the optional broccoli.)
Nutrition (per serving): 357.8 calories; 27% calories from fat; 11.9g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 648.6mg sodium; 561.7mg potassium; 50.4g carbohydrates; 7.6g fiber; 2.2g sugar; 42.8g net carbs; 18.4g protein; 7.3 points.