Nope, didn't sign up for this year's VeganMoFo, and regular readers will know that apart from the political implications and real suffering involved, I'm actually not that interested in food per se. But, even I have to feed myself and I DO have some favourites, so in honour of VeganMoFo I thought I'd throw in a few food-oriented posts this month.
Before becoming vegan, macaroni and cheese was one of my favourite meals to make. Not original I know, but hey, comfort food rarely is. Sadly though, I didn't make it for a couple of years because I just didn't like any of the vegan cheeses available. Not a biggie as such, and I didn't have as hard a time giving up cheese as maybe other vegans did, but I WAS a bit nostalgic when it came to mac-and-cheese. Then, Daiya answered the cheese prayer I didn't even know I had, and now my favourite yummy meal has become a staple again. Thanks Daiya! Here's the informal easy peasy recipe (which in my book = 5 ingredients or less, and no more than 15 minutes to make) for the mac-and-cheese dish above made by yours truly:
- 2 cups elbow pasta
- about 1/3 bag Daiya cheese
- enough soymilk to make sauce
- about 2+ tablespoons flour
- about 2+ tablespoons vegan Becel
- an unsensible amount of ketchup, but that's a condiment and not a real ingredient, so it doesn't actually count as #6, right?
As you'll have noticed, I'm a rebel when it comes to precise measurements. They annoy me, which is one of the many reasons why I don't like baking. Other than the two cups pasta (my way of ensuring that I don't have to cook again the next day, snort), I tend to just throw in what I think I need. Make this meal a few times and you'll instinctively know how much of the ingredients will make a smooth sauce in the consistency you like. But for now, put "butter" (Earth Balance works well too) in a good-sized pot over low heat and let melt, gradually blend in flour, and then slowly start adding soymilk (or other "milk" product) until it makes a nice sauce. Add cheese (after a while you'll know how much is right for you), and keep stirring until it gets velvety smooth. Oh, I tend to make my sauce after the water has boiled for my pasta. Pasta takes no more than 10 minutes, and that's about the time it takes to make the sauce. Place noodles into the sauce when done and stir. Some folk will get all fancy and pour the sauce over the pasta separately, but why not make it easy and throw it into the sauce pan right away? There, easy peasy macaroni. Cook, eat, nuke the next day. Hmmm, wonder how many cookbooks I could sell if all the recipes were written up this way....
And lastly, any meal ALWAYS tastes better in Pyrex, especially orange or red Pyrex, and no, I'm not making that up ;)