Vegan Maccy Cheese
Vegan Maccy Cheese
- 1 lb small pasta – macaroni or fun shapes
- 6 cups finely chopped broccoli optional
For the sauce:
- 1 cup whole unroasted cashews soak in water for a day or overnight for non-high-speed blenders
- 170 g Russet Potatoes peeled and cut into 1" cubes
- 1 cup vegetable broth make up a little extra incase you'd like to loosen the sauce up a little more – it thickens up while heating in the final step
- 30 g (½ cup) nutritional yeast flakes
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 1½ Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1½ tsp chipotle powder or paprika optional
- 2 Tbsp onion powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1½ Tbsp refined coconut oil (the stuff that doesn't smell like coconuts)
For the final stir (all optional)
- 1 can 400g/14oz stewed tomatoes drained and crushed or chopped to bite size (optional)
- 1 handful violife vegan cheese shreds to taste really
Get to boiling
- Bring about two quarts of water to a boil in a medium saucepan, add potato cubes and cook until tender – about 10-12 minutes, drain.
- Bring 6 quarts of salted water to a boil in a large pot.
While you wait for the water and the pasta cooks, prep the sauce.
- This may be a bit of an extra step but it works for me – process cashews to a coarse chop in the blender first then remove to a bowl and then blend the potato way past the "looks like mashed potato" stage – it'll be impressively silky and gooey creamy when it's ready. I don't think this step can be over done.
- Add the cashews and the rest of the sauce ingredients and blend until completely smooth – you shouldn't feel any grit in the sauce if you pinch some between your fingers, pause from time to time to scrape down the sides.
- Cook pasta in boiling water adding the chopped broccoli (if using) for the last 3-5 minutes.
- Reserve a little starchy water when you drain the pasta in a large colander and add return to the pot, do not rinse the pasta, don't even drain it vigorously – the starches in the pasta water will help the pasta and sauce come together.
- Stir the sauce into the pasta, add the stewed tomatoes (if using) and cheese shreds here. If the sauce starts to get soaked up, add some of the reserved pasta water in. Turn the heat on low and stir to heat everything through (a couple minutes).
We’re not vegan, not that there’s anything wrong with that, but we’re trying to cut back a little on cheese and dairy. Sorta for the planet, nice side effect, but mostly for our own health. Isa Chandra Moskowitz has as many Mac and Cheese recipes as Deb Pearlman has banana bread recipes from what I can tell, and as an American vegetarian kid of a certain age, Isa is just my first port of call if I’m looking for a tasty vegan recipe. The first time I made her Broccoli Mac and Cheese, which is the recipe Nadiya Hussain would approve of as it’s absolutely aimed at people who want a yummy quick meal on the table, it came out a little dry and sticky for my liking, but the flavour was just right, for me it was missing the gooeyness. While reading through some America’s Test Kitchen recipes, I saw exactly what I was looking for – they added the cheesy creaminess by blending the heck out of nearly a pound of potatoes, and if I recall, their recipe had no cashews, so, I thought “double all the flavoury bits, add potatoes, and coconut oil, see what happens”.
This is the new base recipe.