I’m sure that many of you can admit that making a perfect vegan macaroni and “cheeze” is difficult. My ideal vegan version of macaroni and “cheeze” has to be creamy, gooey and cheesy, something that I would eat as a comfort food. I had encountered and tried few vegan mac and cheese recipes. Some of them lack flavor, or the creamy and /or cheesy elements. In the end, I realize it is hard to create the cheesy-like elements in a vegan macaroni and “cheeze”, unless you add some vegan cheese products to it (i.e., Daiya, GoVeggie!, etc).
The recipe is adapted from Susan Voisin at FatFree Vegan Kitchen. She has a collection of over 1,400 low-fat vegan recipes sent in by hundreds of people, which is great for anyone who wishes to eat healthy and low-fat vegan cuisine.
I wanted to give her Easy Vegan Macaroni + Cheeze recipe a try.
The only major change I made to the recipe is that I baked it with panko and Parmela vegan parmesan for more texture and flavor. Her recipe is low-fat, low-sodium and almost oil-free if you omit the tahini. I cannot omit the tahini, because the macaroni and cheeze won’t be creamier. In reality, it will taste bland (as stated in her post) and it will not be your ideal, perfect vegan creamy and cheesy macaroni and cheeze dish. It is perfect for anyone who does not mind the flavor of the dish, but wishes to keep it low-fat and low-sodium.
So I tried her recipe and indeed it was pretty bland and lacking flavors. It is a dish I wouldn’t make again, but it is a potential dish I strive to slightly improve with flavors.
If you are more about the flavor and extra creaminess, I suggest you read further. I have slightly modified her recipe. I omitted the cayenne powder, dry mustard and turmeric. Turmeric is unnecessary because the nutritional yeast adds a bit of yellow color and already has slightly cheesy flavor. I replaced the omitted ingredients with yellow mustard and vegan margarine. I added a bit more black pepper, white miso, lemon juice and potato starch. I used unsweetened coconut milk instead of soy milk.
If you want the cheesy elements, add vegan cheese products to it and broil in the oven until melted. I personally like the Daiya cheddar wedge (or slices), and Go Veggie! Mexican style shreds, they produce the best cheesy results. The panko and Parmela vegan parmesan (or any parmesan) was pretty tasty with any baked macaroni and cheeze dishes. Place the al dente macaroni pasta and the sauce in the oven at 350 degrees F for at least 15 minutes using a roast method. Season with panko and Parmela (about 1/4 cup each).
Preheat an oven to 350° F. Put the pasta on to boil until al dente, according to package directions. While it’s cooking, blend all remaining ingredients (except for vegan parmesan and panko) together in a blender. You can add jalapeño for a bit of heat. When the pasta is al dente, drain it and return the pasta to a Dutch oven (or any that is used for baking).
Add the sauce mixture and stir in. Add a little of the pasta water if more moistness is needed. Place it in the oven for at least 15 minutes using a roast method. In a small bowl, mix ¼ cup vegan parmesan and ¼ cup panko together. This will be your topping.
Layer the macaroni and cheeze dish with vegan parmesan and panko (optional: add vegan cheese before you add the topping mixture) and let it broil for another 5 minutes or until the mixture turns slightly golden brown.
Adapted from FatFree Vegan Kitchen.