Recreating my childhood with the help of Cheddar Teese

Every vegan has a mac and cheese recipe, it seems.  There are a few I really like (the one from Yellow Rose Recipes and the one from Veganommicon), and I’ve improvised many a batch, but I’ve never found one that I LOVED until today. But sadly it requires an expensive hard to find product that a lot of people don’t really have access too.  Oh well.  I’m sure you could use Follow Your Heart or Tofutti or another brand, really.  Anyway, here’s the recipe, based off the mac and cheese from The Vegetarian Epicure, which was the recipe my parents used when I was a kid, and my favorite childhood meal ever.  This is what I had my parents make for my birthday every year, and what I begged for whenever they asked what I felt like for dinner.

This picture is missing the cayenne, oops.

This picture is missing the cayenne, oops.

Ingredients for the bechamel sauce:

3 tablespoons Earth Balance
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 onion, minced
2 1/2 cups warm unsweetened soy milk
Cayenne
Thyme
1 tiny bay leaf
Salt
Grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

Heat the Earth Balance until it starts bubbling, then throw in the onions and cook for 3-4 minutes.  Add the flour and stir until it starts bubbling too (you just made a roux).  Add the soy milk and start whisking.  Add the bay leaf, and add cayenne (or black pepper, or whole peppercorns, if you like vile things like that), salt, nutmeg and thyme to taste.  Basically it should taste really delicious on its own and not bland.  Keep on stirring for 10-15 minutes (yes, it’s ok to take occasional breaks) until it’s pretty thick.  Then strain it if you’d like, or just pick out the bay leaf and call it good.

Ingredients for the rest:

1 pound pasta in some sort of tubular shape
1/2-3/4 log of Cheddar Teese (or 1/2-3/4 of a pound of another vegan meltable cheese)
1 cup breadcrumbs mixed with a tablespoon or two of Earth Balance

Preheat the oven to 350. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. Don’t overcook it! Grate (or chop, if you’re so vegan you don’t have a cheese grater) the Teese. Grease a pan (casserole, cake pan, whatever) and put in a third of the noodles. Top them with a third of the bechamel and a third of the Teese. Do that two more times. Top with the breadcrumbs. Bake it for 15-20 minutes or so. You might have to broil it to get the Teese to melt.

Next time I might just melt the Teese into the bechamel, because it took a while to get the Teese to melt, but I’m not sure yet.

Photobucket

The finished product.

Thanks to vgnwitch from the PPK for providing me with the original recipe from the book!

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