Published on June 15th, 2012 | by Becky Striepe2
National Dairy Alternative Month: Vegan Mac and Cheese Recipe
Did you know that June was National Dairy Alternative Month? Here’s a vegan mac and cheese recipe to help you on your vegan cooking adventures!
June is also National Dairy Month or National Milk Month (depending on who you ask), and that’s no accident. If the dairy industry is going to give themselves a month to market their product, it makes sense to talk about vegan milk alternatives, right about now, doesn’t it? If you have been wanting to dry non-dairy milk or cut dairy out, June’s as good a time as ever!
Some folks aren’t crazy about dairy substitutes like vegan cheese or non-dairy sour cream and say that if you’re giving up the dairy, you shouldn’t replace it with “fake” food, but I don’t totally agree with that. Sure, processed cheeze should be a sometimes food, but if a tub of Tofutti sour cream now and then helps you eat vegan without feeling deprived, I don’t see the harm. It’s not as if omnivores don’t have their share of processed foods. The problem comes in when those are your main sources of nutrients and calories. If you’re eating a generally balanced diet of whole foods, why not treat yourself once in a while?
This vegan mac and cheese recipe from the super awesome ladies at Spork Foods falls into that sometimes food category, but I think it also showcases that dairy free living doesn’t have to mean totally giving up comfort foods. The recipe is from their new cookbook – Spork Fed – and they were kind enough to share it with us!
Creamy Baked Macaroni and Cheese with a Spelt Bread Crumb Topping
- 6-8 cups water for boiling, salted
- 12 ounces quinoa or spelt elbow macaroni
Cheese Sauce Ingredients
- 1/3 cup non-dairy butter
- 1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 21⁄2 cups So Delicious almond milk
- 2/3 cup nutritional yeast flakes 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon light miso paste
- 1⁄4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons mustard, stone ground or German
Bread Crumb Ingredients
- 2 slices organic spelt bread, roughly chopped
- 2 teaspoons neutral tasting high-heat oil
- 1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder 1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon agave nectar
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Bring salted water to a boil in a large (6-quart) pot. Add macaroni and cook as described on package, about 7-9 minutes.
- For the sauce: Heat a medium (4-quart) pot over medium heat. Add butter and flour. Whisk together to form a paste, creating a roux. Add almond or soymilk, nutritional yeast, sea salt, black pepper, garlic, miso, lemon juice and mustard. Cook for about 7 minutes, stirring constantly, until sauce is thick and creamy.
- For the bread crumbs: Place bread on a baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with garlic powder, sea salt, black pepper, oregano, agave and lemon juice. Toss to coat and bake for about 7-9 minutes or until crisp.
Pulse bread mixture in a food processor until bread crumb consistency is reached, and set aside.
- Once macaroni is finished cooking, drain and add to pot with sauce. Mix thoroughly to coat. Place mixture in a greased 8 x 8 baking dish, or 6 personal ramekins or cocottes, and top with homemade bread crumbs.
- Bake for about 30-35 minutes, or until bubbles appear in center of dish. Serve warm from the oven.
Recipe © Spork Foods, 2009
Spork Foods is a Los Angeles-based gourmet vegan food company owned and operated by sisters Jenny Engel and Heather Goldberg. They offer live cooking classes in Los Angeles at Spork Foods (www.sporkfoods.com), online vegan cooking classes at www.sporkonline.com, one-on-one in-home healthy pantry makeovers, and recipe development/trainings for chefs, food companies and colleges. Their cookbook, Spork-Fed, is currently in stores, with a foreword by fellow fans and sisters, Emily and Zooey Deschanel.
Image Credits: Creative Commons Cashew Milk photo by t-dubisme; Vegan Mac and Cheese photo © Spork Foods, 2009
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