02 August 2011
Macaroni Thingy (by special request)
This is a pretty standard vegan Mac & Cheese-style dish. The first thing you do is cook your pasta. You'll want to use something like macaroni, penne, shells, or rigatoni.
The second thing you want to do is boil about a cup and a half of fresh or frozen peas. If you're lazy (some would say economical with your time), you can just cook them right along with your pasta. You can skip this step and use a can of drained peas if you want, but I like using fresh or frozen peas better.
The third thing you want to do is make the fake-cheese sauce, which is rather like making gravy. I don't use exact measurements for this, but if you want something more exact, check out this post here: http://www.grouprecipes.com/81388/vegan-mac-daddy.html. You want to make about 3 cups of gravy.
What you want to do is fry some onions and garlic in oil or margarine (if you add a splash of oil to the marg, it will usually stop it from burning). Add a pinch of turmeric, cayenne pepper, and some thyme. Once the onions are starting to turn clear, go ahead and stir in a bit of flour (use cornstarch, xanthan gum or arrowroot if you want this to be GF -- just a tbsp or two should do, but if you are GF, you probably have a feel for how much to add). You will get to a point where you can't really incorporate any more flour (ignore this if you are not using flour). Now you want to start slowly stirring in some broth/water/milk-substitute (be it soy, oat, coconut, or whatever). Add some of the liquid, stir it until there are no clumps (using a whisk or a fork helps), wait for it to thicken, add a little more liquid, stir, wait, etc. until your gravy is the right consistency. You don't want it to be too runny -- you want it to be on the thick-side, but not so thick that it's pasty. Now, stir in some nutritional yeast. If you don't have any, you can skip this, but the nooch really enhances the cheesiness of the dish. Finally, stir in a glob of prepared mustard (whatever kind you like best), a splosh of lemon juice, and some salt and pepper and your sauce is done.
The fourth thing you want to do is drain a tin of stewed tomatoes (go ahead and save the juice for something else). If they are not chopped, you'll want to chop them, too. If you are feeling fancy, you can chop some sundried tomatoes and use them instead.
Now for the easy part -- mix everything together and dump it into a greased casserole dish and cook that baby in a preheated oven at 350°F/175°C for about half an hour. Let it chillax (try that portmanteau on for size!) for about 15 minutes so it firms up a bit. During this part, I circle the casserole dish anxiously, nibbling and picking at yummy, crusty bits of macaroni, like some kind of vegan vulture.
Now for the best part -- eat that baby!