As you probably ALL know by now, I'm blogging a month of all things gravy, for VeganMoFo. And once again, I'm straying ever so slightly from the traditional "brown gravy on potatoes" idea. But keep in mind, one of the definitions of gravy is simply "a sauce".
And that's what I had planned to blog about today, my "cheesy" sauce that I use for vegan Macaroni and Cheeze. I've worked a long time at perfecting my vegan version of this classic comfort-food recipe, because it was one of the final dishes to make the vegan transition some years ago. My kids grew up on my signature homemade mac and (cow) cheese and they were pretty picky about giving it up.
However, the fine folk at Chicago Soy Dairy saw fit to throw my plans all out of order, by sending me a sample of their Teese vegan "Chedder-Cheeze Sauce" on Friday. AWESOME! I was excited but stuck it in the fridge, thinking I would blog about it another day. But, then my KIDS saw it and of course, being the cheese-curious not-*quite*-vegan munchkins that they are (they eat some dairy products when out with friends or with their Dad, they're 18 and 20 and perfectly able to decide what they want to eat) they asked me to try it in tonight's Macaroni and Cheeze. Who am I to deny my kids' wishes? (HA!)
|Looks just like it's cow-cheese|
namesake, but a WHOLE lot better!
Happily, I can report that the Macaroni and Cheeze made with Teese's Cheddar Cheeze Sauce was a yummy success an all accounts! It was easy to make, and actually VERY stretchy-creamy-gooey like mac-n-cheeze should be. I really liked both texture and taste, adding only a small shot of Tabasco for a bit more "kick". I didn't think it tasted "fake" or "chemically" like some vegan cheese sauces can be.
And hardest to impress? My teens. They completely approved and voted it a very acceptable option when Mom didn't want to make Mac-n-Cheeze completely from scratch. I admit it WAS super convenient. Just make the noodles, pour sauce over them, heat it to get all melty and serve. YUM! Since I can't actually BUY Teese anywhere near me (and my budget doesn't allow products like this very often anyway) this was a rare and enjoyable treat. If you like vegan "cheese" products and tasty, but quick, easy short cuts, this is a perfect option, check it out!!
If, on the other hand, you came here for a recipe, I'm including that as well. This makes completely awesome Mac-n-Cheeze, or use the sauce on rice, potatoes Au gratin, vegetables or your breakfast tofu.
- 1/2 cup cashews, soaked in hot water
- 1 cup heated non-dairy milk (I prefer So Delicious UNSweetened coconut here)
- 3 Tbsp margarine
- 1/2 cup white beans of any type, cooked
- 1/2 cup cooked yellow winter squash - butternut, acorn, kuri, whatever
- 1/4 cup pimiento pieces, drained
- 6 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp. mild miso paste IF you have it, if not, it's fine.
- 1/2 teaspoon onion granules/powder
- 1/2 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard (use the plain old American hot dog mustard)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 tsp Tabasco or to taste
Place drained cashews, just enough non-dairy milk to cover them in blender or food processor. Blend until cashews are as smooth as possible. This may take a while. Add the rest of the milk and margarine and blend until margarine is incorporated.
|Forgive the old, crappy|
picture, it's all I had
on this computer!
It should be fairly runny, you can add more nutritional yeast if you want, but it will thicken as it bakes. Taste and add more Tabasco or salt if needed.
Simply mix desired amount of the above recipe with some cooked, hot pasta - any shape or variety. At this point I usually add a cup of Daiya shredded cheese for extra stretchy-melty-ness, but that is TOTALLY optional.
Place in a casserole dish, top with buttery breadcrumbs and bake until bubbly and crispy on the edges.
I use whole wheat pasta and add peas, spinach and/or broccoli, though the girls prefer "no veggies please" in their mac-n-cheeze.