When I was younger, Sunday lunches after church used to consist of a roast, baked potatoes, and broccoli covered in cheese sauce. My mom would take the potatoes, covered in foil, out of the oven and throw them to me in the dining room, one by one. (A realistic game of hot potato!) The potatoes were always great because who doesn’t love potatoes, but the real star, was that cheese sauce.
I’d watched my mom make that sauce countless times. I had memorized the page it was on in the cookbook. It wasn’t until very recently that I thought to myself, “why not make a vegan version of this?”
I will be the first, (or perhaps not), to tell you that all vegan cheeses are not created equal. If you’ve had a bad experience or were offput by one, there’s still hope. I avoided vegan cheese the first few years I was vegan because I didn’t like the taste of Dayia. This particular brand seemed to be everywhere. But over the years, as the demand has increased, so has the market for vegan cheese. The brand SoDelicious makes theirs with coconut milk and it melts very well. This is what I use in my sauce. Even Dayia has recognized this and stepped up their game; they have revamped their cheeses and are relaunching with new and improved flavor.
The only issue I know some people will have is the price of these products. A bag of SoDelicious cheese is $4.99 at Whole Foods. (Dayia is about the same.) I agree that is pretty steep, but it’s not every day I make this recipe. If you make it once every few weeks, is it really that different than buying a coffee a few times a week? The other thing is, the more people buy the products, hopefully the lower the prices can eventually become. Being vegan doesn’t have to be expensive. The name brand meat and dairy substitutes can get pricey, yes, but if you’re mainly sticking to whole fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, your grocery bill is already considerably less than an omnivore’s. The take home- you can splurge on a bag of vegan cheese every now and then!
I have thoroughly searched to find great vegan mac and cheese recipes the last few years. Little did I know, the best one would be my mom’s all along.
2 and 1/2 cups macaroni
2 tablespoons vegan butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup almond milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 bag vegan shredded cheddar cheese
Cook macaroni according to package directions. Set aside.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan.
Add the flour and whisk well.
Pour in the milk and whisk so the flour mixture has been incorporated.
Keep whisking. The milk mixture will begin to boil and thicken. (This may take a few minutes.) You will be able to feel the change in consistency as you are stirring.
When this occurs, turn off heat. Add entire package of vegan cheese and stir well to melt.
*for a thinner sauce, you can add 3/4 the cheese, or a little more milk*
Pour over your macaroni and heat slightly, if needed.
This sauce is delicious on vegetables, as well! I love it over some steamed broccoli or cauliflower.🙂
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