Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Vegan Spicy Mac and Cheese Recipe

I remember my first attempt at giving up dairy. My sister and I used a recipe from an old paperback vegan recipe book to make a 'cheese' sauce. We lovingly created the sauce and served it with jacket potato for our lunch. Unfortunately, seeing as the ingredients were basically just pureed carrot and potato, we overloaded on carbs, and the tasteless orange goo in no way resembled cheese. It was more akin to baby food than the cheese substitute it promised to be. It was starchy and bland.

Twelve years on, and I'm still exploring the benefits and delights of plant based cookery. Ingredients are becoming more available and there is so much more on the market. Nowadays, I am a vegetarian who enjoys vegan food and my eldest daughter follows a strict vegan diet. I love incorporating vegan dishes into our family meals because of the health benefits, the variety and the fact that they are cruelty free.

Cheese sauce is something I love. Over vegetables, with pasta, as part of a pie filling, it is lush. Sometimes I use almond or soya milk and vegan margarine to make a basic roux and flavour with Engevita or vegan cheese. However, I've been working on the full plant based, lower calorie, lower fat version and think I may at last be mastering the art of making vegan cheese sauce using carrot and potato as a base. Making it smoky and spicy adds a real depth of flavour and it works really well with Mexican food, as a topping on a bake, as a dip or as a sauce for pasta or vegetables. It keeps in the fridge and tastes even better after a day or two and reheats really well.  It is still a work in progress but I think it is good enough to share!

vegan, recipe, plant based diet

Vegan Spicy Cheese Sauce Recipe

2 medium potatoes
1 large carrot
1 clove garlic peeled
1/2 cup Engevita nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon smoky paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic granules
1 teaspoon salt
1-2  teaspoons of Sriracha Garlic and Chilli Sauce (to taste)

Dice potatoes and carrots and put in pan with garlic clove.
Cover with water, bring to boil and simmer until softened (about 10 minutes).
Strain well then put in food processor with other ingredients. (I used my Nutribullet.)
Blitz to form a thick sauce. (Add more water at this stage if you want a thinner sauce and adjust seasonings to taste.)
Put in an airtight container and keep in fridge if not using immediately. Reheat to use.

For Mac & Cheese

Cook up some pasta according to instructions and drain.
Put back in pan and add sauce to coat the pasta and heat through.

vegan, recipe


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