I have had quite a few different versions of a vegan Mac'n'Cheese Bake. So many in fact, I have never taken the time to make my own version. I have pulled inspiration for this recipe from a couple lovely ladies. The first being little miss thing Isa Moskowits. The second being my friend Felecia who made an amazing bake not too long ago for one of our little neighborhood vegan feasts. It was so yummy it left me wanting more so I decided it was time to make some mac bake myself. I don't know about you but Mac'n'Cheese has always held a special place in my heart and well..... vegan mac is just not the same. However This recipe may not taste the same....but, I think it does taste better. Now that is quite a break though in my book. Obviously you shouldn't take my work for it. Try it out for yourself. This is one of those recipes that really comes down to personal preference. However I promise you it won't be too dry or taste bland by any means. I did get a two thumbs up from a meat eater when I gave her a bite of my left overs, which I brought to school with me for lunch today. (Note: Sorry for the lack of pictures...My life has been a little busy lately.)
1 box of pasta. Shells or macaroni. (I used medium shells)
3-4 slices of bread, buttered (Earth Balance)
For the Sauce:
1 1/2 cups raw cashews
2 cups vegan chicken flavored broth.
4 tbs olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, minced
1/3 cup flour
2 cups almond milk (you can use soy)
1 package daiya cheddar
1 tsp tumeric
salt and pepper to taste
4 tbs nutritional yeast
2 tbs lemon juice
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare your pasta. In a food processor add your cashews and the broth. Blend until there are no cashew chunks left. In a cast iron skillet saute the garlic and onion in a tablespoon of oil until translucent. Set aside. wipe out your skillet and add the remaining olive oil. Heat on medium and add the flour. Mix well to form a paste. Add more oil if necessary. You want to stir this constantly for about 10- 15 minutes. It is ready when it is a medium brown toasted color and it smells fragrant. Whisk in the almond milk and then the cheese. Whisk constantly so the sauce does not form clumps. Add the broth and cashew mixture. Then whisk in all your spices and lemon juice. Let simmer for 2-3 minutes. When done pour the sauce over the pasta and mix well. Pour into a 9x13 glass bake. Tear up the pieces of bread and place on top of the pasta evenly. This prevents it from drying out in the oven. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 5 more. If you want the bread on top to be more toasted turn on your broiler for a minute or two.
I hope you enjoy this recipe.