Monday, August 12, 2013

Dining In - Baked Macaroni & Cheese

Macaroni & Cheese Recipe
Baked Macaroni & Cheese - The Almost Vegan

Veega Mac 'n' Cheese It's another Pinterest-inspired quick dinner recipe! The ooey, gooey, cheesy look of this baked mac 'n' cheese convinced me to try it. I've made quite a few vegan mac 'n' cheese recipes at this point (here's my favorite), but I'm always up for a trying a new one that has slight variations. This one incorporates shredded cheese into the dish and as a topping, so you get a creamier, cheesier sauce. My one issue with this recipe was the overpowering mustard flavor. This could easily be fixed by reducing to 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard or using a more mild variety. Otherwise I really enjoyed the thick sauce and of course the breaded-cheese topping is hard to resist. This was a pretty simple recipe, but did involve a stove-top, blender, and oven. I might serve this as a side dish for a future meal, since I felt like I needed to eat a few servings to feel full! You can find the full recipe on the blog The Almost Vegan (don't worry, this recipe is completely vegan!) - see it here.

10 oz. pasta (I used gluten-free shells)
1/4 cup Earth Balance margarine
1 yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup plain almond milk
1/2 cup raw cashews (soaked overnight or boil for 10 minutes)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard (See comments above, I recommend using less)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon paprika, use more if desired

1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 cup vegan shredded mozzarella (now available at Trader Joe's!), divided
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly grease an 8x8 inch square pan.
Veega - Vegan - Cashews
Boiling Raw Cashews

Boil cashews for about 10 minutes and then drain and set aside. 

Cook pasta according to directions on package, rinse, drain and set aside. 

In a large saucepan, melt the margarine and add onions with a dash of salt. Cook for about 5 minutes, until onions soften and start to brown. Add in garlic and flour. Stir until it starts to thicken. 

Add almond milk, cashews, nutritional yeast, mustard, tomato paste, paprika, salt, pepper, and pinch of cayenne. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring throughout. 
Vegan Creamy Cheese Sauce  - Veega
Sauce Before Blending

Carefully pour mixture into a blender. Blend until well combined and creamy. 

Pour pasta into prepared pan. Add about half of the sauce to the pan with the pasta and mix together. Add 1/4 cup of the shredded cheese and stir again. Top dish with remainder of sauce, followed by remaining 1/4 cup of shredded cheese and breadcrumbs. Sprinkle with dash of paprika, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until crispy on top! 

Dig in!

Vegan Mac and Cheese Baked Breaded

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