|8 servings||30 minutes|
Who doesn't love creamy Mac and Cheese? I particularly love the Mac Daddy Recipe by Isa Chandra Moscowitz. I have adapted it to suit our particular family love of pasta. Give it a whirl. You won't be disappointed.
- 2 tbsps olive or other oil
- 6 cloves garlic chopped
- 4 cups veggie broth reserve 1/2 cup to dissolve cornstarch
- 2 pinches dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/2-1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper or to taste
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1 1/2 cups nutritional yeast
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 lb Silken Tofu I prefer soft
- 3/4 lb dried macaroni I use whole wheat
- 2 cups frozen peas partially defrosted
- 1/2 - 3/4 cup shredded plant based cheese
- Place oil in medium saucepan and heat.
- Add garlic, stirring continually to avoid burning.
- Add veggie broth, keeping aside about 1/2 cup to add to cornstarch.
- Add thyme, turmeric, salt and pepper.
- Bring to a boil.
- Add reserved veggie broth to cornstarch and stir until it is pourable, adding more veggie broth or water if needed.
- When veggie broth is boiling, add cornstarch slowly, whisking continually to avoid lumps.
- Whisk gently over medium heat for two minutes or so until starch taste is gone and sauce is thickened.
- Stir in nutritional yeast, lemon juice and mustard, whisking until smooth.
- Cool for five minutes or so.
- Place tofu in large bowl of food processor and whir until smooth.
- With food processor running, slowly add cheesy sauce and whir until smooth.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Cook pasta according to al dente directions on package.
- Drain and return to pot.
- Add cheesy sauce and partially defrosted peas.
- Adjust seasonings and pour into medium size casserole dish.
- Let sit for ten or so minutes before sprinkling with plant based shredded cheese.
- Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
- Let rest for 10 minutes and serve.
- This is a dish I love to make ahead and freeze.
- It is a hit with guests if you are having a party.
- Simply freeze in its unbaked state and then thaw.
- Bake in oven at 325 degrees F for 30-45 minutes.
- Leftovers can be frozen and used at a later date.
- Kid friendly recipe. My grandchildren will attest to that.
- Switch it up with the pasta - Rotini, Penne are amazing substitutes and white and corn pasta work well too.
It is said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and this would be the case for the work and recipes of well know vegan author, animal rights advocate, chef and restaurateur, Isa Chandra Moskowitz. I have and love her cookbook Veganomicon and make prodigious use of it in my daily cooking and baking. It was published some ten years ago; a ten year anniversary edition is available now. Isa is a prolific author with some ten vegan cookbooks to her name. Her plant powered recipes reflect our attachment to comfort food in the form of soups, bundt cakes, casseroles to name just a few.
So, it is little surprise that when I come across a recipe of Isa’s that I like, but don’t necessarily love, I make an attempt to adapt it to suit my taste and that of my family. In this case, adaptation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Isa’s Recipe: Mac Daddy – Veganomicon, Isa Chandra Moskowitz
Here is what I liked:
Mac & Cheese, Mac & Cheese, Mac & Cheese
Easy to make
Here is what I wasn’t so keen on:
The method of thickening the sauce
The texture and taste of the crumbled tofu
Everything else is dynamite. So why not fiddle around?
1) Cheezy Sauce:
The recipe instruction calls for mixing the flour and broth together, whisking with a fork and then adding to the other ingredients and simmering until the taste of the flour cooks out.
I have never had success working with flour as a thickener.
It is always too pasty, to doughy, too lumpy, whether I make a roux or follow Isa’s recommendation in this recipe.
I learned how to work with cornstarch many years ago when my mom was teaching me how to cook and it never lets me down.
Dilute 1/2 cup of cornstarch with 1/2 cup Veggie Broth reserved from 4 cup measurement.
Stir with a fork until smooth.
Cook garlic as per recipe original recipe and add spices, salt & pepper & veggie broth.
Bring to a boil and whisk in cornstarch, stirring constantly for two minutes or so.
Add nutritional yeast, lemon and mustard (I use Dijon).
2) Tofu Ricotta:
I am not supper keen on the texture and taste of this mixture.
I find it too grainy and too tofu-y tasting.
I wasn’t sure that my grandchildren would like the texture
And after all, what is Mac and Cheese if it does not appeal to the little ones.
So, I felt that a small change up was in order.
Substitute Silken Tofu for the extra firm tofu.
Eliminate the salt, olive oil and lemon juice.
Put tofu in large bowl of food processor.
Whir until smooth.
While food processor is running, using a ladle, add Cheezy Sauce.
Whir until smooth.
Add to cooked pasta along with peas and stir to combine.
Place in casserole dish and let sit for five minutes or so.
There is no topping in the original recipe.
I added some plant based shredded cheese for presentation’s sake.
Some like this melty, gooey addition and some don’t.
It is easy to bake the Mac and Cheese in two separated casseroles.
This is what I do, some with cheese, some without.
Vegan Annie’s Handy Kitchen Tips
If you are a novice in the kitchen and feel unsure, look for a recipe that does click all the boxes.
Or, throw caution to the wind and experiment.
Whatever you decide, make it plant powered all the way.
For the animals, for the planet, for humans.
May all beings be happy and free.