Today, I questioned my veganism just a tad when I saw my friend chowing down on a chocolate chip cookie brownie bar. Man, did it look good. I was seriously jealous, and maybe drooling just a little bit. Then…. I realized, woah Veganricha just made Chocolate Chip Cookie Date Caramel Brownie Bars, and they’re VEGAN!! I am definitely going to carve out some time to make those because they too, are drool-worthy.
Speaking of drool inducing foods…. Mac and Cheese is absolutely #1 on my list. I can’t get enough of the gooey, cheesy sauce with perfectly al dente pasta, my favorite being penne (because it was a bite), or shells. For this recipe though, I used fusili because I love the little twists in it.
This being the second time I’ve experimented with vegan mac and cheese, I was less hesitant on whether I would like it or not and more excited to experiment with different flavors. The first time I made it it did compare to regular mac and cheese in my book, but I realized it dried out in the refrigerator because there wasn’t enough sauce distributed with the pasta. This recipe MAKES SURE your mac and cheese will not only be super cheezy (yes, with a z because it is not actual cheese), but also super super saucy. The sauciness of this dish is truly incredible and very difficult to not eat out of the food processor with a giant spoon.
Yeah, and tell me that the picture below does not make you want to salivate. Uhuh. Oh yeah.
I think it’s time for the recipe now.
Vegan Mac and Cheese
Adapted from Post Punk Kitchen
3/4 lb macaroni or other small pasta
3/4 cups raw cashews, soaked in water for 2 hours
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cloves roasted garlic
2 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 tablespoons organic cornstarch
4 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional) (If it isn’t cheezy enough, feel free to add more!)
1 roasted red pepper (jarred or homemade)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon fennel seed or ground fennel
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
Boil a large pot of salted water for cooking the pasta. Once boiling, cook pasta according to package directions.
Drain the cashews and add them to the blender along with the vegetable broth, corn starch, nutritional yeast, red peppers, roasted garlic, tomato paste, pizza seasoning, salt, dijon mustard, oregano, thyme, granulated garlic, fennel and turmeric. Blend until very smooth. Scrape down the sides every 45 seconds or so and test for smoothness.
Transfer the sauce in the blender into a large pot. Turn the heat up to medium and let cook, stirring very often, until thickened. This should take between 10 and 15 minutes. Taste for salt.
The pasta should be done cooking while the sauce is thickening, so drain it and add it to the sauce. Ladle mac and cheeze into some nice large bowls and consume.