Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Vegan Mac and "Cheese!" Kid friendly, BK approved!

I find it very difficult to cook for everyone in my house. Do you? Everyone has their own set of taste buds and with a teenager who would eat some sort of burger for breakfast, lunch, and dinner I have quite the task.

Each week I make up a menu, M-F. Saturday and Sunday is left for leftovers or date night or dining out as a family. Something along those lines. My menu consists of dinners and snacks. I am sure to have plenty of healthy snacks sitting around my kitchen for those times starvation (or my body tries to tell me that's what it is) strikes!

My BK likes Mac and Cheese. What kid (well, teenager) doesn't, right? I've made "cheese" sauces before but they always seem to be too cashew(Y) for him so I needed a cheese sauce without nuts.

Thinking cap on....

Start with a roux...add some almond milk...seasoning...maybe a little nutritional yeast...

I found some things online and found some inspiration from Pinterest. Chef Chloe Coscarelli had some wonderful ideas! But, I'm not a huge nooch fan. Nooch is short nutritional yeast. It's loaded with B12 but I'm not a huge fan of too much. I know, I may be in the minority. People love this stuff and buy it in very large quantities. Anyhow. I adjusted this recipe to my own liking and here it is for you all to enjoy.

Little J enjoying lunch. Mac and "Cheese," broccoli, and edamame. With a book, of course!

BK's Mac and Cheese (I name it this because he ATE it and LIKED it!!! Yay!!!)

16 oz bag of whole wheat elbow macaroni
1/4 cup vegan margarine (I use Earth Balance)
1/3 cup spelt flour
3 cups almond milk
1/8 cup nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon agave nectar, or more to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and keep warm.

Meanwhile, make a roux with the margarine and flour in a medium sauce pot set over medium high heat. Heat for 3-5 minutes, or until it becomes a nice nutty brown color. Slowly add the milk while whisking. Add the nutritional yeast, tomato paste, salt, garlic powder and pepper to the pot. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Once it's boiling turn your heat to a simmer and let the sauce thicken. It should evenly coat the back of a spoon.  Add the lemon juice and agave nectar, taste, adjust seasonings as needed.

Toss the sauce and noodles together and serve.

I usually serve with a side of green beans or broccoli. Grilled portobellos are a great side as well.