In case you haven’t noticed, I have been on a food kick lately-mostly in part to finding a cookbook that has rocked my socks! With a variety of food issues I had found myself in a slump as far as eating goes and would do one of two things- eat ‘safe’ and stick to the same things over and over OR declare hang it all and eat whatever I wanted (don’t recommend this route. not. fun.). It gets frustrating-especially when I have to consider the folks in the household who can eat everything in site without a second thought. So not fair. Anyway-I have been trying different cookbooks to see if I could put some spark back into my menu and have found one that has got me excited to be in the kitchen again! Yay!
Vegan Cooking for Carnivores by Roberto Martin is not only beautiful to page through it is filled with recipes that are amazingly doable and incredibly tasty. I have tried a variety of the recipes and-now here is the best part-served them to my family to all around thumbs ups! In the past I have tried to serve vegan versions of certain foods and have been accused of everything from heresy to attempted poisoning so you know I have a tough audience.
Enter Mac and Cheese. I was in the need for some comfort food and my mom use to make a wicked, old style baked mac and cheese that could make anything better so I thought I would give VCfC’s version a go to see if it would assuage my empty nest blues. This kind of recipe can be especially tricky because alternative cheeses can be-well, how do I put this delicately-anything from less than believable to down right gross. Fueled by the success I have had with other recipes in the book, I thought this one might be just the ticket.
This super easy recipe starts with Cashew Cream (pg. 206) which I had never made before. Ooooh, this stuff is good. I made the full batch and then froze what was left in one cup portions for future uses (oh the potential!). Making the cream takes a while so doing it ahead was a good call.
And we’re off! I assembled my ingredients and got to work. The anticipation was almost unbearable but I was trying to keep cool-it didn’t work.
This is looking GOOD! I was a little nervous because I didn’t have the brand of vegan cheese that was suggested (can’t find it around here) so I used my standby rice version. OH! I forgot to mention-I used gluten free shells!! Pasta, like vegan cheese, can be a big disappointment but I have found that Tinkyada Pasta Joy provides a quality pasta experience and can be found at most supermarkets. OK, back to the cheese. I was getting excited watching this recipe come together and tried really hard not to sneak tastes!
Here’s the deal-I use to think mouth watering, creamy, down to earth good mac and cheese was a thing of the past for me. Boy, was I wrong! I wish you could taste this, like now. I am happy to report that this is the real deal and a new go to recipe for me! My fam gave the double thumbs up (DOUBLE!) and here is the best part…the real test…the leftovers were amazing! The fact that there were leftovers was quite a feat but it makes a big batch which is an added benefit!
This is one instance when being cheesy is totally acceptable and if you are looking for that creamy, satisfying and safe mac and cheese experience this is the one. The BIG one! Page 154, go. now. You won’t regret it!
That’s it for today and once again and for the record-I promote books/products and other ‘stuff’ because I want to not because I get anything in return. I look at it this way-it takes a looooong time and a lot of failures to find things that are ‘right’ and if I can help someone find it sooner than it’s all good.