Before I went vegan and started eating more healthy, my favourite “comfort” meal was macaroni and cheese. This was my dad’s favourite food and when I grew up he made it for my sister and me a lot. I used to be the type of person that was so picky that when I found something I really liked, I would eat it over and over and over again. I practically lived off of it through highschool and university. I came to realise it’s not exactly the healthiest thing to eat and decided to lay off. But one of my favourite things to do as a vegan is to veganize something and more recently, to strive to make it a healthier version too.
Enter Mac N’ Cheeze!
Normally I add way more veggies, but it was the night before our weekly market shopping so it was slim pickin’s! I make it a little different every time, this time with mushrooms, peas and broccoli. I normally also like to add some sort of green like kale, collard or spinach. I also added white beans for some protein.
This has been adapted from fatfreevegan and the original recipe can be found here: http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2007/10/easy-macaroni-and-cheeze.html
I have been tweaking the sauce for the past few months, and here is what I have come up with so far:
1 cup coconut milk (almond works fine too, but coconut is nice and thick and gives a good taste)
2 tbsp tahini
¾ cup nutritional yeast
2 tbsp chickpea flour (normal flour works if you’re not gluten-free)
juice from ½ of a lemon
½ tsp herbamere seasoning (or sea salt)
½ tsp mustard powder
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp black pepper (fresh ground if possible)
I cook up tinkyada noodles (http://www.tinkyada.com/) as I’m gluten free and these are by far the best texture and don’t get mushy like other rice noodles. I usually cook them 1-2 minutes less than the package recommends and just be sure to rinse them before eating as this helps separate them.
I heat up a wok, add a bit of coconut oil, sauté some garlic and onion, add mushrooms, broccoli and then some greens. Then I add the beans, cooked noodles and sauce and stir and until heated through. Sometimes I also add a handful of daiya. YUM =)
When we were done, I had a craving for dessert but didn’t feel like making anything complicated. So I made a super quick and yummy treat that I learned from one of my vegan besties Sarina. Her original recipe can be found here: http://earthgivenkitchen.com/2012/10/08/happy-canadian-thanksgiving/ (scroll down for the stuffed dates recipe).
I cut a date in half and either put in a bit of coconut oil or cashew butter, sprinkle on some cinnamon and some carob powder and add half a pecan or a walnut piece. I usually have them with a bit of fruit.
It’s a great sweet treat that is quick and fairly guiltfree.