Dreamy Mac and "Cheese"

By Amy Ford

Adopting a plant-based lifestyle came with a lot of trial and error with new recipes and finding those staple dinner recipes that our kids would enjoy as well. One of our family favorites is our Mac and “Cheese” Casserole. It’s creamy, it’s dreamy, and it’s just plain ole’ yummy!

Pasta and Sauce Ingredients:

1 box of shell or elbow pasta

2 tablespoons of oil (your choice)

3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour

1 can full fat coconut milk

2 cups unsweetened and plain plant-based milk (I use almond milk)

2/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes

2 ½ tablespoons of Braggs liquid amino acids

1 tablespoon of Rice vinegar

1 tablespoon of Apple Cider vinegar

1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder

1 ½ teaspoons onion powder

1 tablespoon turmeric powder

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

*if you would like to spice your mac and “cheese” up with a little kick add 1 to 2 tablespoons (depending on preference) of a vinegar based hot sauce.

Bread Crumb Topping Ingredients:

2-3 end pieces of bread

A combination of onion powder, garlic powder, all seasons salt, sea salt, dried parsley, dried thyme, and dried basil. I do not measure these out. I add to my likeness with a dash of each.

Instructions

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to instructions. Pasta should be al dente. You do not want to overcook the pasta as you will be adding it to the oven to cook more.

2. Preheat Oven to 350 degrees

3. Once pasta is done cooking, drain in a colander and mix a little bit of oil with it to avoid it from sticking while you prepare the sauce.

4. Coat the bottom of a medium pot with the 2 tablespoon of oil and place it over medium heat.

5. When the oil is hot, whisk in the flour to form a thick paste

6. Whisk in the coconut milk and non-dairy milk of choice. Whisk until the milk and flour paste is combined well

7. Whisk in the rest of the sauce ingredients and let simmer on medium for a few minutes until sauce starts to thicken whisking occasionally to avoid burning and separation of any kind

8. Combine the bread and herbs in a food processor and pulse until you have fine bread crumbs

9. In a 9x13 glass or pyrex baking dish add the pasta and evenly spread it in the dish

10. Remove sauce from pan and pour over the pasta making sure it is evenly coated and mixed throughout

11. Sprinkle the top with bread crumbs with as many or as little as you would like

12. Put in the oven and bake for around 20 minutes or until bread crumbs start to crisp and brown and sauce bubbles.

13. Remove from oven, serve, and enjoy!

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