Vegans need not, perish the thought, give up mac-n-cheese. It’s just mac-n-not-cheese. I found this recipe on the blog of fellow sci-fi writer Amy Stirling Casil – Amy writes about many things, among them eliminating dairy from her diet and losing tons of weight. Many people have this experience when becoming vegan – I am not one of them. Perhaps it’s because of recipes like this…or maybe just that chocolate comes in vegan. Here is her recipe (with her permission) and afterward my adaptations.
1 lb. macaroni (cooked and drained)
8 oz Daiya cheddar shreds
4 oz Daiya mozzarella or Italian shreds
1 1/2 T Vegan margarine
1 1/2 T flour
2 cups Rice milk (unsweetened) – or unsweetened Soy, etc.
1 T red pepper flakes (it needs that, or more!)
1 tsp hot mustard
salt and pepper to taste
for the topping: dry sourdough or other crusty bread for crumbs – whirl in food processor with 1 T olive oil. I used rosemary sourdough which came out great.
Cook the macaroni and drain, set aside. Make sure your saucepan is large enough to accommodate the macaroni later because you are going to mix the macaroni and the sauce Kraft Macaroni-and-Cheese style.
Make a roux with the vegan margarine and flour. Lightly cook the roux and add the rice milk a small amount at a time with a whisk. Cook over medium heat until thickened (this will not be a thick “bechamel” sauce). Add the pepper, hot mustard, salt and pepper. Stir in the 8 oz Daiya vegan cheddar shreds. You will see how the sauce will become “Kraft Macaroni & Cheese-like” as it cooks up, moreso than regular cheddar cheese and a milk-based white sauce. Stir the cooked macaroni back into the sauce and toss to coat. Pour into a 4-quart baking dish. Top with the Italian/mozzarella shreds, then put the bread crumb/olive oil mixture over the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
My notes: I did not use macaroni – I used farfalle. I’ve also made it with ziti and strozzapreti by Montabello organic pasta. I like interesting pasta shapes. I’ve learned from experience to stay away from whole wheat pasta – it just doesn’t taste good. However, brown rice pasta offers a bearable whole grain alternative.
I also folded in sauteed mushrooms and recommend throwing in a box of pre-washed spinach for more adult interest. And I used Japanese panko instead of bread crumbs, which makes a really crunchy delicious topping.
This gives you all the goo and glut of good ol’ mac-n-whatever! Serve with salad to keep your virtue intact. But if you follow with chocolate mousse your immortal soul is your own responsibility.