My friend Deb asked me to provide a vegan mac and cheese recipe…my first request!! Of course I was happy to oblige. Most people are skeptical about vegan mac and cheese. And I can’t blame them…a lot of it sucks. There are loads of recipes out there…many using cashews or vegetables for the sauce. I’ve tried a few other recipes and have found this one (which comes from Vita Cafe in Portland, OR and was featured in the June ’08 issue of Vegetarian Times) to be the best in sating my comfort food cravings.
While this doesn’t taste precisely like cheese, it has the thick creaminess of cheese sauce and is uber yummy. You’ll want to use rotini or another hearty pasta to hold up under the sauce’s thickness. You can also add veggies to this for more variety and color. The nutritional yeast (which you can buy at Whole Foods in bulk) imparts a very subtle cheese taste and texture. And don’t be scared of nutritional yeast! It seems weird at first but I find myself putting it in other recipes too like tofu scramble. My friend John even says he prefers this recipe to dairy mac and cheese…it’s that good!
Vegan Mac and Cheese
1 8-ounce box of pasta (rotini or other hearty pasta)
3 1/2 cups plain soy milk
5 tablespoons flour (using rice flour makes it gluten-free)
4 tablespoons Earth Balance vegan butter
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
3 teaspoons soy sauce (Trader Joe’s rocks)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Cook pasta in a large pot according to directions.
In a medium-sized pot, pour soy milk. Add flour, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder and soy sauce. Whisk and simmer on low heat for approximately 8 minutes, whisking frequently. Sauce will eventually get thick and frothy. After about 8 minutes, add vegan butter and Dijon mustard. Whisk again and simmer for another few minutes. Remove from heat, pour over pasta.
Makes 4-6 servings