January 9, 2011

Warm, Creamy, Comforting, Mac & Cheeze

This is the Veg News signature recipe, Macaroni & Cheese .  It's been called the best mac & cheese on the planet.  It's pretty darn close, if it's not.  The cheese sauce is made with cashews and simmered vegetables.  This is really good.  I made some last night.  This is an easy recipe and I usually have most of the ingredients on hand. We we had such a busy day, it was late and we were tired. We ate a lot more than we should have. I wanted to have some of this for our meals this week, so I made another batch today.

Vegan Macaroni & Cheese
By Allison Rivers Samson

    * 4 quarts water
    * 1 tablespoon sea salt
    * 8 ounces macaroni
    * 4 slices of bread, torn into large pieces
    * 2 tablespoons + 1/3 cup non-hydrogenated margarine
    * 2 tablespoons shallots, peeled and chopped
    * 1 cup red or yellow potatoes, peeled and chopped
    * 1/4 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
    * 1/3 cup onion, peeled and chopped
    * 1 cup water
    * 1/4 cup raw cashews (soak the cashews in water for about an hour)
    * 2 teaspoons sea salt
    * 1/4 teaspoon garlic, minced
    * 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    * 1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
    * 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    * 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
    * 1/4 teaspoon paprika

What You Do:

   1. In a large pot, bring the water and salt to a boil. Add macaroni and cook until al dente. In a colander, drain pasta and rinse with cold water. Set aside.

   2. In a food processor, make breadcrumbs by pulverizing the bread and 2 tablespoons margarine to a medium-fine texture. Set aside.

   3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan, add shallots, potatoes, carrots, onion, and water, and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and simmer for 15 minutes, or until vegetables are very soft.

   4. In a blender, process the cashews, salt, garlic, 1/3 cup margarine, mustard, lemon juice, black pepper, and cayenne. Add softened vegetables and cooking water to the blender and process until perfectly smooth.

   5. In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta and blended cheese sauce until completely coated. Spread mixture into a 9 x 12 casserole dish, sprinkle with prepared breadcrumbs, and dust with paprika. Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese sauce is bubbling and the top has turned golden brown. I sprinkled some dried sage on top after it came out of the oven

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