Comforting Vegan ‘Mac and Cheese’

Sometimes, you just need a bit of comfort food. Had a bad day? A long night? Is it just really cold and gross outside? A big, steaming bowl of something warm and delicious can only improve matters.

Potatoes and pasta are both high on my list of ‘foods that instantly make everything better’, and both of these wonderful ingredients have joined forces to create this warm, creamy and comforting dish! I would call it ‘mac and cheese’, but I haven’t used macaroni and it’s not really cheese. But it is just as creamy and comforting as mac and cheese, so I reserve the right to call it as such.

There are many ways to make vegan ‘mac and cheese’. Some use butternut squash, some use cashews, some use vegan cheese. This recipe, adapted from this one from Vegan Yumminess uses potato, carrot and onion as a base and the ingredients are quite simple. The only sort of ‘weird’ ingredient is the yeast flakes, so if you haven’t gotten on board with them yet — I strongly suggest you get yourself acquainted. They give a nice cheesy taste to the sauce, and can be sprinkled on any number of dishes to add a little extra flavour and a nutritional boost (gotta get that B12)!  I also added some peas to my version for some protein and colour!

Notes:
This recipe requires having a semi decent blender or food processor, or the consistency won’t be quite as smooth as it should be.
If you want it to be a bit of a creamier texture, you could always throw in a couple tablespoons of cashews (that have been soaked for 10 minutes to soften).

Ingredients

  • 2.5 cups wholegrain pasta (macaroni or fusilli)
  • One medium sized potato, peeled and diced
  • One carrot, peeled and diced
  • Half a large onion, diced
  • Two cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2-3 stalks of green onion, finely chopped
  • 1-1.5 tsp of mustard (English style – the kind in a jar, or Dijon)
  • 3 sun dried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 200 ml of dairy free milk, unsweetened (I used almond would probably work fine with coconut or soya milk t00 if you’re avoiding using nuts).
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
  • 3/4 tsp salt, (more or less to taste)
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp chili flakes
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Half a cup of frozen peas

Method:

  1. Cook pasta until al dente, following package instructions. Drain, toss in a bit of olive oil so that it doesn’t stick together, and set aside.
  2. Bring enough water to boil in a large saucepan to cover the potatoes and carrots. Put the carrots and potato into the boiling water and cook until soft enough to mash with a fork (around 10 minutes). Drain and set aside.
  3. Heat olive oil using a medium heat (using the same saucepan used for the carrots and potatoes) and add onions and garlic. Sautee until fragrant (the onions should be starting to go clear). Add paprika, chili flakes, black pepper, sun dried tomatoes, mustard and salt.
  4. Add the veggies back in and sautee in the spices for 1-2 minutes. Then transfer everything into your food processor.
  5. Pour in your dairy free milk, yeast flakes, and lemon juice and blend until smooth. (You can add more of any of the spices at this point so that the flavour is to your liking!)
  6. Pour the sauce back into the saucepan and add the peas. Heat sauce until the peas are cooked. Stir in the green onion.
  7. Your sauce is ready to pour on top of the pasta. Serve with a sprinkling of yeast flakes, chili flakes and green onion. (You can also stir in some more chopped sundried tomato if you wish!

High fives for easy vegan comfort food!

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3 thoughts on “Comforting Vegan ‘Mac and Cheese’

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