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mac and cheese dreams

February 19, 2011

i consider myself a cheese purist cheese snob. smoked gouda, feta, vermont cabot, there isn’t a cheese i met that i didn’t love. my ideal meal would be a cheese tray, a glass of wine and some sort of bread.

only problem. i am allergic to cheese and all things dairy.

yes i know, life is unfair. i would love to have a pity party right here and now, but it wouldn’t really change anything.  i do cheat sometimes, i have to admit. there are days that i am just too weak and i succumb to temptation.

there are some meals that i miss like crazy. pizza for one. you never realize how much you take pizza for granted until you can’t eat it. i haven’t really found a substitute for real pizza.

and what about good ole macaroni and cheese? talk about comfort food.

i had altogether given up on eating these cheesy meals. the thought of eating fake cheese was insulting to me. i would just assume go without. i turned my nose up at substitutions. nothing will ever take the place of cheese.

but i have a confession. i recently attempted my first vegan macaroni and cheese. and guess what? it was actually good. i mean really good. if i served you this mac and cheese you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

say what? maybe you don’t believe me because, well, i wouldn’t have believed me.

but it’s true. vegan mac and cheese can be just as good as the real deal and i don’t feel guilty about eating it.

vegan macaroni and cheese

vegan macaroni and cheese

1 cup cashews

1 package brown rice noodles (undercooked by five minutes)

olive oil

1/4 cup red onions

2-3 cups chicken broth

1/4 cup brown rice flour

5-6 Tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar

1 cup vegan bread crumbs (i make my own by toasting some bread and putting it in the food processor)

1/2 cup of chopped flat leaf parsley

salt and pepper to taste

you start by soaking the raw cashews eight hours or overnight.

after the cashews have soaked for eight hours, saute up the onion in a generous amount of olive oil (i don’t really measure). saute onions until they are soft. add several tablespoons of brown rice flour until the mixture becomes a thick paste. Add chicken stock and bring it up to a bubble.

place cashews in a vitamix if you have one, or a high powered blender. Add around 1/4 cup of water, salt and pepper and a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. blend until cashews become a cream.

add cashew cream to the chicken stock mixture. time to taste. add more salt and pepper to taste and if you want it more zingy, add more apple cider vinegar.

mix your noodles with your “cheese” and place in baking pan. cover with breadcrumbs and bake in the oven for around 20 minutes until the mac and cheese starts bubbling. top with flat leaf parsley and serve.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. joanne permalink
    February 19, 2011 2:21 pm

    I’m with you I LOOOOVE cheese also.My favourites are the soft cheeses. That dish looks so yummy.Does the pasta dish taste nutty?

    • February 19, 2011 5:38 pm

      thanks joanne. actually, it doesn’t taste nutty at all. the cashews are ground so fine that it makes a “milk”. the blender that i use is so high powered that it is super smooth. so the cashews just take on whatever you flavor it with. and the vinegar gives a zip just like cheese. it is surprisingly good!

  2. February 19, 2011 4:55 pm

    wow – I’m totally curious about this recipe. I have a friend who doesn’t eat dairy and I’m going to send this to her. I want to try it, just because it sounds so wild!! Thanks for sharing!!

    • February 19, 2011 5:44 pm

      maybe you should make it for her kelly and have her over for dinner. it really is tasty, i promise. i am a total sceptic when it comes to fake cheese. the key is having a high powered blender so that there is no nut texture left to the cashews.

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