Vegan Mac n Cheese – Homemade Vegan Pantry

Miyoko looking over shoulder - croppedMiyoko Schinner, frequent speaker at Vegfest, has produced another great book, “The Homemade Vegan Pantry, the art of making your own staples” (Ten Speed Press, Random House, 2015). Miyoko is a renowned vegan chef, cookbook author, and television cooking show host, and has been promoting delicious, decadent, and healthful plant-based foods for the past thirty years. Her previous cookbook, Artisan Vegan Cheese, has been a top-selling book on Amazon, and has been called “The holy grail of the culinary world.” She is a co-host of Vegan Mashup, a new cooking show on public television, and stars in her own whimsical online show, Miyoko’s Kitchen.

Homemade vegan pantryComplete with full-color photos, The Homemade Vegan Pantry celebrates beautiful, handcrafted foods that don’t take a ton of time, from ice cream and pizza dough, to granola and breakfast sausage. Miyoko Schinner guides readers through the techniques for making French-style buttercreams, roasted tomatoes, and pasta without special equipment. Her easy methods make “slow food” fast, and full of flavor. The Homemade Vegan Pantry raises the bar on plant-based cuisine, not only for vegans and vegetarians, but also for the growing number of Americans looking to eat lighter and healthier, and anyone interested in a handcrafted approach to food.

Well Crafted Macaroni and Cheese Mix Recipe

Unless you were raised by macrobiotic hippies, you’ve had it. I’ve had it. And there’s no shame in saying it— we’ve all had macaroni and cheese out of the box. My kids would plead with me to buy it, and I was thrilled when the vegan stuff came on the market. Maybe you don’t crave it anymore, but it sure is convenient to have some on hand for the kids or the babysitter. But there’s no need to buy it, because you can make the instant cheese sauce mix yourself in just a few minutes! This version is richer than the variation that follows, utilizing glorious cashews.

Well-crafted macaroni and cheese mix1 cup cashews

¾ cup nutritional yeast

¼ cup oat flour

¼ cup tapioca flour

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon organic sugar

2 teaspoons powdered mustard

2 teaspoons sea salt

2 teaspoons onion powder

Add all of the ingredients to a food processor and process until a powder is formed. There should not be any discernible chunks or large granules of cashews, so this may take 3 to 4 minutes of processing. Store this in a jar or portion out into 1⁄3 -cup increments and put in ziplock bags and store in the pantry for a month or two or in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

MAKES 1 2/3 CUPS, OR ENOUGH TO COAT THE EQUIVALENT OF 5 STORE-BOUGHT BOXES INSTANT MACARONI AND CHEESE

HOW TO USE WELL-CRAFTED MACARONI AND CHEESE MIX

Cook 1 cup of dry macaroni according to package instructions and drain. Combine 1⁄3 cup mix with 1 cup water or unsweetened nondairy milk in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk well and bring to a boil. Simmer for 1 minute, then toss with hot cooked macaroni.

These mixes are also a great answer for turning yesterday’s leftovers into a quick casserole. Just combine leftover pasta, potatoes, or grains, some veggies, and any other odd scraps you think might be a good fit and mix it in a casserole dish with some of the cheese mix and water. You can add additional spices and herbs if you wish. Then bake it all up into creamy goodness. You can also use the mix to make quick sauces for veggies or add it to soups for extra cheesy flavor and richness—it’s quite versatile.