Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cheeseless mac-n-cheese

Former blog readers, this is an oldie (but such a goodie). Newer blog friends, you may or may not know that I am vegetarian, and vegan-minded (though not a strict vegan). You may or may not know that my gall bladder is kaput (thus the switch to a vegetarian diet, which has done wonders for my digestive health). You may or may not know that you can make delicious mac-n-cheese without so much as an ounce of cheese. And the sauce is delicious on other things as well, liked steamed broccoli for example.

So without further ado, here is the recipe I use for making cheeseless mac-n-cheese. It's a "most requested" kid-preferred meal in our home. And it's GOOD!

4 quarts water (to cook the pasta)
1 tablespoon sea salt (I eliminated this as it was for boiling the noodles only)
8 ounces macaroni (I used whole wheat)
4 slices of bread, torn into large pieces (I used whole wheat)
2 tablespoons PLUS 1/3 cup non-hydrogenated margarine (ie. Earth Balance or Smart Balance LIGHT)
2 tablespoons green onion, peeled and chopped
1 cup red or yellow potatoes, peeled and chopped (I used 1 large yellow potato)
1/4 cup carrots, peeled and sliced
1/3 cup onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 cup water
1/4 cup raw cashews
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed (I used bottled juice)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon paprika

In a large pot, bring the water and salt to a boil. Add macaroni and cook until al dente.

In a colander, drain pasta and rinse with cold water. Set aside.

In a food processor, make breadcrumbs by pulverizing the bread and 2 tablespoons margarine to a medium-fine texture. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a saucepan, add shallots, potatoes, carrots, onion, and the 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, then cover pan and simmer for 15 minutes, or until vegetables are very soft.

In a blender, process the cashews, salt, garlic, 1/3 cup margarine, mustard, lemon juice, black pepper, and cayenne, adding softened vegetables and cooking water to the blender and processing all until perfectly smooth.

In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta and blended cheese sauce until completely coated.

Spread mixture into a 9 x 12 casserole dish, sprinkle with prepared bread crumbs, and dust with paprika.

Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese sauce is bubbling and the top has turned golden brown.

Live wise in Him!


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