Friday, July 8, 2011

Not so Cheesy Mac and Cheeze

Hey everyone! I just got back from Utah a couple days ago for about a two week visit. It was a blast! But, now life goes in, we are back in Chicago and I am back in the kitchen:)

I bought some nutritional yeast a while ago for a RAW dip I made...I actually should post the recipe because it was really good! Ok, making a mental note to post that next:) Anyways, a couple days before we left for Utah I wanted to make something simple, use ingredients I already had, and make something both my 14 month old and husband would like-that seems to be a challenge sometimes. I found a vegan mac and cheese recipe on the internet that called for nutritional yeast. I have been wanting to use up my nutritional yeast because it is so good for you but just haven't known how to use it so I thought this would be a good experiement. I made this cheezey sauce and put it over whole wheat pasta. I decided not to tell Micah that it in fact didn't have any cheese in it and just wanted to see how he would act:)

Micah came home from work and saw me making the mac and cheeze, he got so excited and said "You're making homemade mac and cheese!" O boy- I thought, this better be good! He took one bite and said "this is so good!" Micah hates whole wheat pasta and he said "This sauce even makes me like whole wheat pasta!" I kept bugging him and asking "Do you really like it? I mean really?? Or are you just saying that?", he finally caught on and said "Is there something secret about this mac and cheese, like there's no cheese in it or something?" I caved and told him, he couldn't believe it. The best part of all is that Eleni loved it! I'm excited to have a new staple in my home, and if I raise my kids eating this mac and cheese they will never know the diference:)

A happy baby makes a happy mom:)

O-and I didn't bake mine, just put the sauce right on top of the pasta! Yum!

Mac and Cheeze
from serves 8

2 cups elbow macaroni
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
pinch paprika
2 pinches mustard powder
1 1/2 cups plain unsweetened nondairy milk (I use soy)
1/2 cup veggie broth
1 teaspoon umeboshi vinegar, optional (makes it saltier) (I left out)
1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard (I left out as well-Micah hates mustard so we never have it)
1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
2 tablespoons vegan margarine (I actually used regular butter, so mine wasn't 100% vegan)
1/4 cup breadcrumbs, optional


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly spray baking dish, if baking. Cook pasta according to package directions. In the last 4-5 minutes of the pasta cooking, start making the sauce. Combine all dry ingredients (flour, nutritional yeast, salt and spices) in a medium pot. Do not turn on heat yet.

2. Add the milk and veggie broth. Whisk to incorporate all ingredients and get all the lumps out. Now turn on the heat to medium high. Keep whisking/stirring as the sauce heats because it will start to get thick pretty fast. Once it gets nice and thick. turn off the heat and add the umeboshi vinegar, mustard, soy sauce and vegan margarine.

3. Mix well. If you didn't use the umeboshi vinegar, you can add more soy sauce if you think it needs it. If your sauce ends up too thick to your liking, just add a little more milk or veggie broth to thin it out. When pasta is finished cooking, drain it and put it back in the pot that it was cooked in.

4. You have 2 options to serve this. You may go ahead and pour all of the cheese sauce on the pasta (there will be a lot!) and stir until everything is combined. Serve the cheesy goodness as is.

5. Or, you can mix about 3/4 of the sauce with the pasta, put it in prepared dish, and then pour the remaining cheese sauce on top. Sprinkle breadcrumbs on top and bake for 15 minutes, until browned.

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