This Aint yo Momma’s Mac ‘N Cheese
6-8 cups of water for boiling, salted
12 ounces of quinoa, spelt or brown rice elbow macaroni
1/3 cup Earth Balance
1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 ½ cups unsweetened almond or soy milk
2/3 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon light miso paste
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons mustard, stone ground or German
1/2 cup homemade bread crumbs (Recipe to follow)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Bring salted water to a boil in a large (6-quart) pot. Add quinoa or macaroni and cook as described on package, about 7-9 minutes.
- For the cheese sauce: Heat a medium (4-quart) pot over medium heat. Add Earth Balance and flour.
- Whisk together to form a paste, creating a roux. Add almond or soy milk, nutritional yeast, sea salt, black pepper, garlic, miso paste, lemon juice, and mustard. Cook for about 7 minutes, stirring constantly, until cheese sauce looks thick and creamy.
- Once macaroni is finished cooking, drain and add to pot with cheese sauce. Mix thoroughly to coat. Place mixture in a greased 8 x 8 baking dish, or 6 personal ramekins or cocottes, and top with homemade bread crumbs (recipe below).
- Bake for about 30-35 minutes, or until bubbles appear in center of dish. Serve right out of oven.
NOTE: Homemade breadcrumbs are easy! Just place 2 pieces spelt bread (roughly chopped) on a baking sheet in a preheated 350°F oven. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, ¼ teaspoon sea salt, ¼ teaspoon finely ground black pepper, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, and ½ teaspoon dried basil or oregano, and toss to coat. Bake for 7–9 minutes, until crisp. Pulse in a food processor until fine.
NOTE: To change it up, I like to add roasted carrots, cranberries and marinated seitan pieces for a more dynamic dish.