Old Recipes Die Hard

It's been a 3-years long quest for the best vegan mac and cheese recipes. I've probably tried something like 20 different recipes, I'd guess...maybe more. The reason it might not be more, however, is because the first recipe I tried was so good. I don't think I've made that recipe in more than 6 months because I've been trying all these others and have found a couple winners...but today for lunch, I went back to my old standard from Vegan Yum Yum. This recipe has all the important qualities of good vegan mac:
  • creamy and rich 
  • tangy and cheezy
  • thick and well textured

This recipe has all these things, and to make it even better, I usually have ALL the ingredients on hand to make it. Very handy. Not all the best rich foods have tons of butter and cream in them. It's just not true. Aside from the mac and cheese at Local Kitchen, I haven't found a "real" mac that beats the vegan ones I love to make at home. For all you cheese lovers out there, it's not just the cheese that makes life delicious! It's a special combination, I think...the rich, tangy, saltiness of the sauce, the softness of the noodles, the warmth of the dish altogether. Cheese isn't the only tang, and cream isn't the only rich. It's a wonder, but it's true. 

Here's the recipe from VeganYumYum.com:

Mac and Cheeze
Serves 2-3

1/3 Cup Earth Balance Margarine
1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
2 1/2 Tbs Low Sodium Tamari or Soy Sauce
1 Tbs Lemon Juice, fresh
1 Tbs Sweet/White/Mellow Miso
1 Tbs Tahini
1 Tbs Tomato Paste (not sauce!)
1 1/4 Cup Soy Milk
1/3 Cup Nutritional Yeast
1 Pinch Salt
Black Pepper, to taste

Melt the margarine over medium/medium high, add flour to make a roux. Let it cook for a minute or two, until fragrant, stirring constantly. Add the Tamari, lemon juice, miso, tahini, tomato paste, and mix up until combined. Add part of the milk and cream it with the other ingredients. Then add the remaining milk. Add the yeast, bring to a light boil, stirring constantly. It should be thickened by this point, and you can take it off the heat.

I usually reduce the margarine quite a bit, maybe 2-3 tablespoons, and it doesn't change the awesomeness. I've also swapped out the tomato paste for Ketchup when I don't have any on hand. I do not add salt. Be creative, I suppose. Pour this sauce, when finished, over 3 cups of cooked rice noodles, spirals or elbows. You can then bake it for 15-20 minutes at 375, topped with breadcrumbs, for super awesomeness.

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