- 1 pack Daiya Vegan Cheddar Style Shreds
- 3 cups of elbow macaroni, uncooked
- 3 cups of almond milk
- 1 tbsp of Earth's Balance Butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp of flour (your choice)
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup of parsley, finely chopped
- salt to taste
I know what you’re thinking…the Docs from FOK would certainly not approve of the consumption of so much oil. Here’s the thing…I am not married to either of them. I’m married to a lovely lady who also happens to be a world champion cheese lover, one with a very special affinity for classic mac & cheese.
The reality of the FOKLife means a general departure from dairy based products, two of which make up one of her favorite dishes, milk and cheddar cheese. For cheese lovers (and I mean real cheese lovers), this separation makes the transition to plant based eating an even more difficult journey.
So, I decided to create a bridge into the FOKLife for cheese lovers, one that will give them an “outlet” to take an occasional cheesy jaunt down memory lane.
Create the perfect non-dairy mac & cheese that passes the ultimate test, my wife’s taste buds.
Put your macaroni on a medium boil and begin the most important step. As my mother taught me, first you make a roux. In a large skillet, combine butter and oil over medium heat and allow butter to melt. Add flour and whisk until flour, butter and oil are well mixed. Do not leave this mixture unattended as it will burn quickly if you let it. The goal here is to allow the flour to cook but not burn. You could brown the flour but we’re not making gravy, so once the mixture reaches a paste consistency, gradually add the milk, whisking it vigorously in order to avoid clumping.
Once the roux and milk are will mixed, add all seasoning and continue to whisk. You will begin to notice the mixture thickening. Begin adding the cheese a handful at a time, whisking the mixture as you go. This cheese takes quite a bit of elbow grease to thoroughly incorporate into this dish, but the hard work eventually pays off and the result is a nice aromatic cheesy sauce.
By the time you reach this point of cheesy goodness, your macaroni should be done. Drain the water and begin folding the pasta into the cheesy mix.
This is where I would stop. However, some people choose to put the mac & cheese in a baking dish and stick it in the oven to develop a crust. This may be great for traditional mac & cheese, however for this dish, I didn’t want to risk separating the oil in the dish by overcooking.
I’ll let my wife tell you…
The Wife’s Response
I loved the Mac & Cheese! It was a yummy, rich, comforting bowl of goodness – everything that M&C should be! I was so excited when Husband said he wanted to make me a FOK friendly version, but I must admit I had a little doubt. Not in Husband of course! But if a vegan Mac & Cheese could live up to it’s dairy filled cousin. But my fears have been put to rest. You could serve this at a family function and be proud.
I will say it’s not the chunky kind but more on the creamy side of the scale. Great flavor, a nice consistency, heavy enough to satisfy you but not enough to stop you from seconds (or for true cheese lovers like my self, thirds!) I loved it right out of the oven and it passed the all important next-day-reheat test. Just like traditional M&C, my Husband will have to watch the frequency that he makes this dish because inside of 24 hours I have eaten almost the whole tray!
Good thing Lorraine & I ran a 5K today – I guess I will have to sign up for more races because I would like to see more of this Mac & Cheese in my future!