Saturday, November 5, 2011

Vegan Mac and "Cheese"

No Velveeta here! Although, I wouldn't really be surprised if Velveeta didn't actually have any cheese in it...

Serves 6

Ingredients:

1 Medium Head of Cauliflower, Rinsed, Cored and Cut Into Approximately 1 1/2 Inch Pieces
1 1/2 C. Water (plus water for boiling the pasta)
2 Tsp. Veggie Better Than Bouillon 
1 Bay Leaf
1/4 C. Nutritional Yeast Flakes, Plus 1 Tbsp. for Sprinkling on Top (You can buy Nutritional Yeast in bulk at health food stores. Don't buy the kind in a box or you'll end up spending a lot more!)
1 7oz. Package of Elbow Macaroni or Shells (I like to use La Moderna. It's the perfect sized package and it's cheap too!) ***If you are vegan, be sure to read the ingredient list on your noodles to be sure that there isn't egg listed!***
1 Tsp. Dijon Mustard
1/2 Tsp. Paprika
2 Handfuls of Baby Spinach(Optional)
Salt to taste
1 Tsp. Olive Oil, for greasing baking pan

Preheat your oven to 350. 

"Cheese": In a medium sauce pan, combine 1 1/2 c. of water, the better than bouillon. Add in the cauliflower and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the cauliflower is very, very tender (about 30 minutes). Remove the bay leaf and add the mustard and paprika to the cauliflower. Using an immersion blender or a food processor, puree the cauliflower mixture until very smooth and creamy. Add in the nutritional yeast and mix until incorporated. Add salt if needed.   

Mac: After the cauliflower has been cooking for about 15 minutes, bring a pot of water to a boil and cook pasta until al dente (Don't over cook it or it will turn to mush when you bake it!!!). Drain pasta completely.

Mac N' "Cheese": Use the olive oil to grease a deep medium sized baking dish. Stir the pasta and spinach (if using)  into the cauliflower mixture and stir until the pasta and spinach are completely coated and evenly distributed. Pour into the greased baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining nutritional yeast. Bake until browned on top. Mmmmm...

P.S. Don't be surprised if yours comes out looking lighter in color. My camera made the mac n' "cheese" look much more orange than it was.

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