Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Recipes: Best Baked Mac Un-Cheese EVER

Sometimes a couple of vegans need to get a hearty serving of comfort food, and the boxes of Vegan Mac aren't always as satisfying as our imaginations remember "The Real (evil) Thing" to be.

For vegans, veggies, and omni's... This recipe rules. Thank you Daiya, you are making us vegans incredibly happy!

I started with THIS RECIPE and changed a few things to make it my own (grilled onions, jalapenos, and tomatoes).

I started by boiling water, and adding my organic, whole-wheat elbow noodles to cook until tender. I let the noodles cook while I started the sauce.

pasta-(elbow noodles, or shells I like best)
1/4 cup EVOO oil or Earth Balance
1/2 cup unbleached or whole wheat flour
2 cups plain soy milk
1 1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1 package of Daiya shreads "cheese"
1 medium sized onion
4 jalapenos (if you like spice)
2 medium-large tomatoes
OPTIONAL any other veggies you want
OPTIONAL bread crumbs (for topping)
OPTIONAL nutritional yeast, and/or herbs for added flavor, garnish
Glass of beer or wine to drink while you cook :) I had some from Pyramid Brewery.

    While my noodles boiled away, I set my oven to 375 to preheat, 
    then diced my onions and jalapenos (or whatever other veggies) to begin sauteing 

    I set heat to low and let the onions start to cook and sweeten, but not long enough to caramelize- stirring occasionally. In another pan I started my cheese sauce (following the recipe linked above).

    -heated the oil and slowly added my flour (through a sieve to prevent lumps), after that I slowly stirred in my soymilk and salt. I like using a whisk to be sure to get a really creamy consistency and break up all the flour until really thick (you can also add Nutritional yeast at this point for flavor/thicker sauce).

    -After the cheese sauce started to boil I set to low and sliced my tomatoes in big rounds to bake on top later. My noodles were done by then so I put in a strainer and set in the sink.

    -I went back to my sauce and added about 2/3 of my Daiya "cheese" until melted. I poured my strained noodles into a large casserole pan, and sprinkled the rest of the Daiya on top, and combined my onions and peppers into my cheese sauce.

    Then the fun part! Pouring the cheese sauce onto all the noodles, and distributing evenly either just on top, or stirring all together (I've tried both and even if you don't mix first the cheese melts down into the bottom noodles). To it make it extra pretty I placed my tomatoes on top and then sprinkled with bread crumbs. You can also sprinkle fresh or dried herbs on top depending on your tastes (basil, parsley, or oregano are my recs).

    Bake for 13 minutes +/- depending on your stove. And its done! I like to serve with Ketchup (my husband thinks I'm nuts, but you have to try it. SO good). YUM!