Saturday, April 16, 2011

Mac N Cheeze

Cheeze and Co.

Despite the fact that I am not currently partaking in "Vegan-O-Con," there are still times when I see a vegan recipe and think "hot dam! Can this be better than the real deal?"

When I came across Branny's vegan mac and cheese, I knew what was about to go down in le kitchen. GF noodles and some cheeze, all in the name of good, clean fun. To make things extra kosher (wait, this recipe isn't kosher. or is it? what does that entail, exactly?), I added some frozen broccoli florets to please the boy, as well as some tomatoes for all those lycopenes. Lycopenes are bomb.

We ate this mid-April, the same night it snowed 5 miles away from us. YEAH, the frozen rain business that wasn't supposed to show it's face again until next November (at the earliest. You hear me snow?). But you know, this is comfort food through and through, and was content with how it warmed me up despite the 35 degree weather.

For those of you who are like I was and scared of nutritional yeast, don't be. It's perfectly fine to eat, and no one will know you threw fungus in their food unless you tell them (Don't tell them. Maintain your untarnished reputation). I buy mine in the bulk food department at Freddies, and I'm sure you can find it at most other grocery stores. It's cheap, and healthy, and best of all...gluten-free! Go figure.

Mean mug that shadow

Vegan Mac-N-Cheeze Bake
hardly adapted from Branny Boils Over
Makes 1 8x8 Dish

*Despite being ridiculously easy, this is a multi-tasking recipe and requires using your noodle to maneuver these noodles (sorry. I had to). Put the pasta water on to boil before you begin the cheeze sauce so the whole dish comes together roughly the same time.

Cheeze Sauce
2 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup oat flour
1 T olive oil
2 Tb. minced garlic
1/2 small white onion, diced
pinch dried thyme
1/4 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper
1/8 tsp turmeric
1 tsp. curry spice
3/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 tsp prepared yellow mustard

For Everything Else in the Bake:
1/2 pound small noodles
1/2 pound extra firm tofu
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 T olive oil
1 T lemon juice
1 cup frozen broccoli
1/2 cup canned tomatoes

1. (Remember: Noodle water on to high heat for boiling!) In a small bowl whisk together the broth and flour until there are no clumps; preheat oven to 350.

2. In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the garlic and onion up for a couple minutes; add theyme, salt, pepper, turmeric, and curry spiced and stir all together for a brief moment.

3. Add in the broth/flour mixture, nutritional yeast and mustard; turn up heat to medium-high and whisk constantly for a few minutes until it's thick and bubbly and the consistency of melted cheese. When it reaches this texture, take off burner.

4. By this time, your water is either boiling or your noodles are on their way to being cooked. If not, your cheeze sauce will stay warm so no big.

5. Mash the tofu, salt, oil and lemon juice together in your 8x8 dish until it resembles ricotta cheese.

6. Microwave your frozen broccoli and add to the tofu with the tomatoes; mix all together.

7. Now add in the cooked noodles and all put 1/2 cup of the cheeze sauce; combine well and spread evenly in dish.

8. Pour on the reserved 1/2 cup cheeze sauce and place uncovered in the oven for 25 minutes; cool a good 10 minutes before serving.

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