Mac ‘n Cheese

There are many recipes out there for vegan mac ‘n “cheese”.  It is like the holy grail of vegan cooking.  There are lots of tricks and special ingredients.  Many recipes call for tofu (I don’t like tofu in things, just as itself) or nutritional yeast (very strong flavor which needs to be toned down with spices which can then get too far away from the goal.)  There are also recipes that use nuts and vegetables.  I have tried many and like none of them.  A few months ago, I had a lovely vegan mac ‘n cheese at S’Mac in NYC where the main ingredients were Marmite and coconut milk.  They did not give me the recipe but I decided to figure something out on my own.  After some trial and error, I am proud to say, “here it is!”

Marmite is from Britain.  It is made from yeast extract and is a great source of vitamin B.  It is salty, savory, and sticky.  The sweetness of the coconut milk offsets the intensity of the Marmite and makes the sauce creamy.

My advice is to make the sauce ahead of time, like a few hours or the night before and refigerate it. This gives the flavors time to meld and for the sauce to thicken.  Take it out not too long before you are ready to use it.  The heat of the macaroni will heat it up and melt it.   Make a meal out of a bowl or serve it on the side.  I promise you, no matter how you eat it, this mac ‘n “cheese” is g-o-o-d!  

Mac ‘n Cheese
1/4 cup garbanzo bean flour
1/4 cup olive oil
1 can coconut milk (Thai Kitchen is a nice brand)
2 heaping teaspoons of Marmite
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon mustard
1/2 teaspoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon salt
1 box quinoa macaroni (8oz box of Andean Dream macaroni)

Prepare the “cheese” sauce by combining all ingredients in a little saucepan and whisking over medium heat.  It will come together quickly.  Take off the heat, let it cool and refrigerate it overnight or for at least a few hours.  Take it out when ready to use. 

Boil the macaroni.  Drain the pasta and add the sauce.  Mix together and let the heat of the pasta melt the sauce. Serve immediately. 

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