Heya ! I hope you’re as excited as I am about this; it’s the M the AC and cheese, except this time without all the customary post consumption guilt that comes with it. That’s right, this is the broke foodies’ Vegan Mac and Cheese recipe; not only that it is inexpensive to make, it is also healthy, easy to make, and this one is completely nut-free!
Recipe Number 2 for the Super Bowl:
The NFL play offs are this weekend! Are you excited? You should be! It’s the time to eat all the classic comfort foods, drink lots of beer and curse at your screen.
You know, cave-man time!
It really shows that no matter how much we like to pretend that we are complex creatures with difficult to comprehend feelings and issues we are still very basic in so many ways.
A guy can be happy just watching a game, holding a slice of pizza and screaming at his screen. That’s all a guy needs…
Now, let’s talk food.
I want to start by asking you all a question and I hope to get an answer from each one of you. What is your favorite Super Bowl food? Pizza? Chicken Wings? Onions rings?
I seriously want to know!
Mine is Pizza, which I will be sharing with you next week, for sure.
Léa’s favorite if Mac and Cheese of course. She is not a big fan of football, but she does stick around during game day, for the food, and for me (I think).
With all the vegan mac and cheese recipes out there, I wanted to come up with something that close to the authentic thing, without breaking the bank of course.
And that, folks, is why we are called Broke Foodies.
No cashews? No problem.
In order for to cut costs, I chose not to use cashews in my sauce. I know there are a gazillion recipes out there that call for cashews, but we like to do things differently here.
I got mad love for cashews, but I don’t always have them handy, hence the use of sweet potato in this recipe, since I’m basically making sweet potato fries every other weekend.
Another reason I chose to use sweet potato is for its color. I’m a potato racist hehe. The sweet potato got the job solely based on its flesh color.
Sweet potato makes this sauce look like we have added some old cheddar cheese in the sauce, not to mention it’s loaded with vitamin A and also a little thing I think really care about in my food called flavour.
Okay, maybe the sweet potato didn’t get the job only because of its color.
How to get a cheese taste and texture in a vegan dish:
It’s kind of tricky to get that signature taste that a cheese like cheddar brings to the table. I found that using ‘earthy’ ingredients is the best way. By earthy, I mean things that generally have an earthy taste, like turmeric, mushrooms and so on.
In this sauce, I used a combination of nutritional yeast, turmeric, and mushrooms– it worked perfectly.
The mushrooms add a nice bite to your sauce and the sauce brings the whole dish together, check it out.
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- 1 Pack of 500g of any short pasta of your choice.
- 1 large sweet potato
- 1 clove of garlic
- 3 tbsp flour (we used whole wheat)
- 1 pint of mushrooms (approx. 224 grams)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp vegan butter (Earth Balance)
- 3 tbsp flour (we used whole wheat)
- ¼ cup of nutritional yeast
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk (NOT vanilla!! - can substitute with coconut milk)
- pinch of cayenne
- approx 1 tsp of dijon mustard to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
- (optional) drop of liquid smoke
- (optional) tsp of dill OR rosemary
- (Optional) Bread crumbs + vegan parmesan
- Put a medium pot of water to boil
- Peel and chop the sweet potato into medium-large chunks (so it will boil faster, add to water and boil until the sweet potato can easily be poked with a fork
- Meanwhile, finely chop the garlic while the oven-safe pan warms the olive oil at low-medium heat
- Add garlic to pan, slice mushrooms - check those sweet potato chunks!
- Add mushrooms and put the heat up to medium (the mushrooms will release water, preventing the mushrooms from burning)
- Once the sweet potato is cooked, remove the pieces with a slated spoon and transfer to a blender, reserving the water to cook the pasta
- Preheat the oven to 350 or broil *see step ___ below*
- Cook the pasta according to package instructions — we used tortiglioni, which is like a longer and curlier macaroni
- As your pasta is cooking, add the rest of the ingredients (butter, flour, nutritional yeast, almond milk, cayenne, dijon, Salt and pepper) to the blender (with the sweet potato) and blend — start with half the quantity of milk to ensure your mixture is without chunks, then add the other cup and blend again
- Pour your sauce into the oven-safe pan with the mushrooms and garlic once your mushrooms are cooked through. Taste and add nutritional yeast, S+P if necessary.
- Once your pasta is cooked AL DENTE, reserve a quarter cup of pasta water drain & add it to the sauce — it doesn’t need to be completely dry, as the yeast in the pasta water will help thicken the sauce.
- Add about 2 tbsp of pasta water, or as needed, to the pasta sauce
- Mix your pasta and sauce, and add breadcrumbs to the top of the pasta
- If you have breadcrumbs and-or vegan parmesan, you can finish the pasta off in the oven to create a crunchy top. Simply sprinkle these two delicious ingredients on top of the pasta, with black pepper and sea salt. Cook in the oven, uncovered, until the top begins to brown. If you’ve accidentally cooked your pasta through (no longer al dente) then put your oven to broil instead, and cook until the top is browned. Note* This step is optional - the pasta is just as amazing without the crispy top. If you want to forgo the oven step, then thicken your sauce by cooking it on medium on the stove top.
Cost per portion: 1.25 $CA based on a 6 portion division.
Endlessly curious hipster
Vegan dabbler (I try !)