October 29, 2011

My Gram's Mac & Cheese Vegan Style

When I was a child, Sunday dinner was always an event at my grandma's house.  She roasted a chicken every Sunday and with it came her tomato base mac & cheese.  It was a simple dish, elbow macaroni, salt, pepper, tomato juice, and cheddar cheese.  Whenever I've gone to visit one of my brother's and sister, it's either on the menu or at least talked about.  I'm not sure if it's really that great a dish or the warm memories of grandma make it so special.  Probably a little of both. Tonight I veganized it and it came out pretty good.  I managed to capture the same flavors and texture without the dairy products or the canned tomato juice she used.

I took a quart of my own canned tomatoes, about a cup of filtered water, and a handful of nutritional yeast and blended into a thick juice.  I had a lot of little green peppers from our trip to the garden today so I sliced them and sautéed them with some fresh onion and garlic in a little grape seed oil.  I also took out about a half cup of the dried Shitake mushrooms and marinated them in a little Tamari and filtered water to soften. I  cooked whole wheat pasta shells mixed them with the sauce, the vegetable mixture and some Daiya cheddar cheese.  Baked it at 400º for about 35 minutes until the sauce was bubbling.

Good warm vegan comfort food on a cold fall night.

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