First things first, can I gloat a bit? Of course I can. This is my blog and I make the rules and sometimes I curse and other times I curse some more. But back to gloating. My Vegan Ricotta and Spinach Lasagna for Two recipe was featured on the super fantastic Yummly. This? This excites me. I am an excitable young lady.
Gloatin’s over. Recipe’s comin’.
Vegan Mac and Cheese takes center burner. I mean stage. I mean burner. I mean my hair is on fire please help.
Part of the fun of making things that aren’t supposed to be vegan into things that are vegan (there are 1,001 easier ways to word that, I believe) is deciding what your secret ingredient will be. Every vegan recipe has one. And while it’s always every time without fail referred to as a “secret”, it’s given away within two sentences. Maybe a photo break. Probably not. Also, no one’s husband/boyfriend/friends/coworkers/kids can ever find out about it/use the internet.
If vegan food bloggers were CIA way back when, we’d all be speaking French instead of English, hailing to a Queen, and sinking ships with our loose lips.
What I’m saying is I don’t know very much about world history and my secret ingredient is sweet potatoes. And pistachios. Double espionage. And you finally weaseled it out of me. You’re good. Too good.
Sweet potatoes and pistachios! Fun! Also, why!?!
Sweet potatoes are orange; mac and cheese is orange! Sweet potatoes can be made downright creamy; that cheese dust from boxed mac and cheese is creamy if you mix it properly because you’re not common folk! And pistachios are nuts. (!)
I really just wanted a second secret ingredient. And extra protein. Because mac and cheese is definitely out of my low-carb comfort zone but sometimes we have to live a little/do something that makes us uncomfortable/make vegan macaroni and cheese with two secret ingredients instead of one. Hey, at least it’s under 400 calories per serving. I can find solace in that.
Vegan Mac and Cheese
serves 8 gigantic portions – enough to feed a small vegan army that would definitely not give away secret ingredients.
Unless water-boarded with chicken broth.
Inspired by Vegan Yum Yum
- 1 cup shelled pistachios -> okay, if you don’t like pistachios or are turned off by the greenish color you’ll see, try cashews. But the pistachios give it a nice nutty taste, to put it obviously
- 1 large sweet potato
- 2 to 2 ¼ cups almond milk (or any non dairy milk)
- ¾ of a cup to 1 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon red miso paste
- 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- dash of paprika
- ½ cup of Daiya Shredded Chedder Cheese, divided
- 16oz bag of whole wheat noodles
Make it rain fake cheesey goodness:
Soak your pistachios in a bowl or jar – add enough water to cover an inch above them – for about an hour or until you can take it no longer. While these are soaking and you’re being patient, cut a few slits in your sweet potato and microwave for 5 minutes, flip over and microwave five minutes more. Let it cool. Burnt fingertips are the devil’s plaything.
Drain your nuts and put them in a food processor. Add some clean water to it, maybe a ¼ cup? Sounds about right. Process until as smooth as you can get it. Scoop out the baked sweet potato from the skin and toss in the food processor. Process! Add the milk, a ¼ cup at a time, and process. Add enough milk until you are satisfied with the saucey consistency. Add the nutritional yeast, a ¼ cup at a time, adding enough to where you like the cheesy taste. I settled on a cup. I like nutritional yeast. Add the miso paste, dijon mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper and process again and again. Feel free to make slight adjustments throughout to cater to your tastes.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Find a casserole dish and spray lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a comically small pot, cook your pasta according to the instructions on the package. Remove and drain.
Transfer your cheese sauce into a skillet or pan or whatever and bring to a slight boil. Add in a ¼ cup of the Daiya (or a little more, this is America and all) and stir until kinda sorta melted. Take down to a simmer and add the noodles, stirring them around to make sure they are fully coated and incorporated with the sauce. Again, taste taste taste and adjust the seasonings until you’re happy.
Transfer the cheesy noodles to the prepared casserole dish. Top with remaining ¼ cup of Daiya. Sprinkle the top with paprika. Toss in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until the Daiya is melted and the top is browned ever so slightly. Remove from the oven. Dive in. But with a really really big fork because this thing is a monster.