Have I mentioned I love my crock-pot?
I have an older model Rival of smallish capacity that I got 20+ years ago as a wedding gift.
I've always used it for beans and soup, but in the last few years, as our schedules have gotten crazier and my kids' appetites bigger, I've been explored several new (and most of them delicious) recipes that have become family favorites.
This only takes about 5 hours so I don't do it on days when I'm gone ALL day, but it's still worth it to come home from an afternoon of shopping and have creamy mac-n-cheese almost ready. Results can vary depending on what sort of slow-cooker/crock pot you have, it pays to try this once while you ARE home to see how it turns out.
Turn crockpot on high. Blend the following ingredients in the blender for 2 minutes until smooth:
1/2 cup very hot water
1/2 cup raw cashews
Add the following and blend another minute:
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup quick oats
1 very small jar pimentos (about a Tbsp or two?)
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 teaspoon Umeboshi vinegar
1 Tbsp. onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. Earth Balance or other margarine
Pour into crockpot. Rinse blender with 2 1/2 cups water and add to cooker.
Cook aprox 5 hours on low or 2 1/2 hours on high until sauce starts to boil in a few places around the edges. (If it isn't boiling on "low" after that time, turn to high.)
If not already on high, turn heat to high and quickly add:
1 1/2 cup uncooked macaroni, and 1/2 cup shredded vegan cheeze, and stir.
Do this and re-cover as quickly as possible so it retains the heat.
Cook on high for 40 more minutes (perfect time for while you make the rest of supper).
Uncover, stir again and let sit for 10 minutes or so for sauce to thicken. (At this point sometimes if I want to "fuss" I'll put the crockery part of the cooker in the oven and melt some vegan cheese over top. Or put cracker crumbs on top if that's your thing.)