If Macaroni & Cheese was a childhood favourite of yours then the below recipe is certainly going to change your life. Vegan Mac & Cheese that oozes flavour and is packed with nutrients. And the best thing?
It’s okay to indulge from time to time on a 100% plant-based diet. I myself probably have 10-20% of my meals over a week a little more ‘relaxed’ than my standard cleaner eating habits. The benefit of these ‘relaxed’ meals within a 100% vegan or plant-based lifestyle is that although you may be consuming more calories and slightly less nutrients than your standard powerhouse vegan dishes, you will still be avoiding all of the molecules in animal-based products that increase your chance of developing chronic disease. So you can indulge here and there and know you are not sacrificing days/weeks/years of your life.
Scroll down for photos and the complete recipe.
Roast your garlic by peeling, wrapping in foil and popping in the oven for approx 20 minutes at 200-220°C until browning.
Peel the potatoes and then boil with carrots, yellow capsicum (yellow pepper), onion and carrots for approx 25 minutes. You can tell when this is ready by piercing the potato with a fork - if nice and soft then the vegetables are done.
Drain the liquid then put the potatoes into your food processor first and blend until you get it nice thick and mushy. Then, add the garlic, carrots, yellow capsicum and onion and blend again until they, too, become completely blended into a constant mushy texture with no visible solid bits.
Now, add every other ingredient in the list above (with water being slowly added) until you get a nice smooth consistency. If you wish for a thicker sauce, add less water. Sometimes if I am making this cheese for other dishes, I use less water and then let it set in the fridge to create a lovely cheese for dipping and buddha bowls. For mac & cheese, I prefer to add all the water in slowly while blending as once we bake the dish, some of the extra fluid cooks off so it prevents it from drying out.
If you do let this set in the fridge, it will firm up a bit. So when using, if you want to thin it back down, heat it up on the pan and as required, add some extra water by the tbsp until you get to the desired consistency.
Preheat the oven at 180-200°C
Make the Creamy Vegan Cheese Sauce per the Sharp Vegan Cheese recipe. This will be quite flavoursome (perhaps seems a little too flavoursome), but during baking some of the flavour cooks off/soaks into the pasta to make a more even and more refined cheesy flavour
Take the garlic powder, dried oregano, 2 slices of toasted bread, hemp seeds, a pinch of salt and put into a food processor until they are broken up into a nice crumbly mix. Careful not to go too fine as the extra crunch after baking really makes this dish!
Cook the pasta for just 10 minutes in boiling water per packet instructions. Do not fully cook pasta because the next step is to put the entire dish in the oven and the pasta will cook further. If you boil the pasta for too long, you will end up with soggy mac & cheese which is not fun. When the pasta is cooked, give it a good rinse under water, drain and then leave in the pot.
Now, pour in the cheese sauce into the pot and mix through thoroughly to ensure the sauce evenly covers all sides of the pasta.
Now, put the pasta into a baking tray and put the crispy topping over the top evenly.
Now you will bake for 10-20 minutes. Check every 5 minutes as depending on what type of pasta you choose cooking time can vary.
Spoil your friends/family one weekend coming up with this Vegan Mac & Cheese and watch for their jaws to drop. And, if you do make this delightful dish, please tag @plant_proof #plantproof on Instagram so I can see your creation and share with our growing community to inspire healthy food choices globally.
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