Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Okay, I know my title for this recipe doesn't exactly rhyme, but smoky and freaky and cheesy all belong in the name for this awesome vegan mac-n-cheese!
I found the original recipe years ago at Vegan Freak, and I'd link to it now but can no longer find it there, despite multiple searches all over their web site. Maybe it was on a forum thread that's since been closed, dunno; it's just been too long. But to someone at Vegan Freak goes all the glory for this dish, to which I've made a few changes. Here is my version...
1 1/2 pounds organic macaroni or shell pasta (preferably whole grain)
1 1/2 cups organic unsweetened soy milk
1 cup water
1/4 - 1/3 cup tamari or soy sauce
1 1/2 cups nutritional yeast
3 1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp (or more, to taste) smoked paprika
1 TBSP garlic powder
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 block of firm (not silken) tofu
1 cup vegan organic creamy butternut squash soup OR 1 cup puréed butternut squash
Dried breadcrumbs for topping (optional)
Additional paprika for topping (optional)
Pre-heat oven to 350ºF
Cook the pasta.
Put the remaining ingredients into a 7 or 8-cup capacity food processor and blend until smooth.
When the pasta is cooked, drain it and put in a 3-qt (2.8 liter) baking dish. Pour the "cheese" sauce over the pasta. Sprinkle with additional paprika and cover with dried bread crumbs, if desired.
Bake uncovered until the top looks slightly browned and crispy, about 15 minutes.
The original recipe called for a cup of oil (eeeek!), so I've always substituted it with either Pacific or Imagine brand organic Creamy Butternut Squash soup. You can also use 1 cup pureéd butternut squash. Both work great and impart a nice cheddary color (along with all those good nutrients!)
The original recipe also called for a tablespoon of salt. You'll have to play with the tamari and salt amounts to suit your taste, but use caution as it can easily get too salty. I find the tamari imparts an important flavor (gives it a tangy, extra-sharp cheddar taste), so I use more of it (closer to 1/3 cup) and cut back on the salt (to 1 tsp). You can always salt your portion after it's cooked and adjust the salt next time you make it. (If you use low-sodium tamari, that may affect the amount of salt you will want to add as well).
And finally, the original called for 1 TBSP regular paprika. I reduced that by 1/2 tsp and made up the difference with smoked paprika for a smoky cheddar flavor. I thought it could use more smoked paprika, but BW, who LOVES smoked paprika, thought it was perfect as is. So, let your own tastes guide you!
I often sprinkle paprika over the top of the pasta before baking it. And I do add the dried bread crumbs.
The pasta I love for this is Bionaturae Organic Chiocciole (shell) Pasta. It's stone ground, whole durum wheat pasta with a great texture, just perfect for mac-n-cheese. I've also tried whole grain spelt elbow macaroni in this, but much prefer the Bionaturae shell pasta. I use an entire package for this recipe.
This is really good hot, but it's awesome cold! It makes a big batch, but it's great as a leftover.
- INFERNO ~ Dan Brown
- MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD & EVIL ~ John Berendt
- MY NOTORIOUS LIFE: A NOVEL ~ Kate Manning
- ONE SUMMER: AMERICA, 1927 ~ Bill Bryson
- QUIET: THE POWER OF INTROVERTS IN A WORLD THAT CAN'T STOP TALKING ~ Susan Cain
- THE BEAUTIFUL CIGAR GIRL ~ Daniel Stashower
- THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY ~ Erik Larson
- THE SHADOWS, KITH AND KIN ~ Joe R. Lansdale
- THE TIPPING POINT ~ Malcolm Gladwell
There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.
~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"