Last weekend marked the summer solstice, so of course it’s now raining balls outside (oh Seattle, you’re so predictable). But to be honest I’m not even the slightest bit upset because it gave me an excuse to make the comfort food I’ve been craving as of late- baked, bubbly, creamy, slightly smoky + spicy, crispy (on the top) mac n’ cheese awesomeness.
Now I know what you’re thinking- how in the f%^k can a dish with “cheese” in the title possibly be vegan? And even if you find a way- how in the f$#k can it possibly taste good? Don’t worry dear readers, I’ve done the dirty work for you. You need only follow my lead and make the recipe below for straight up mac n’ cheese bliss.
This dish is not only fabulous as a nostalgic indulgence/hangover cure, but a perfect side dish for your fourth of July picnics and all those upcoming summa BBQ’s. I dare you to make this recipe, bring it to a potluck, don’t say a word about it being vegan and see if other guests even notice. And even if they do, I guarantee you’ll impress them with this genius, much healthier version of an old classic that won’t leave them feeling far too full for another beer and slice of blueberry pie.
If I’m being totally truthful here, the MLB says this dish is “aiight.” I have to agree to disagree with him on this one, but I can see how non-vegans would be weirded out by “fake” cheese. I personally avoid dairy at all costs, because although it’s insanely delicious, the taste is not worth the aftermath.
I don’t want to bum you out too much but dairy is extremely acid-forming (which leads to accelerated aging in many forms), mucus-forming (which causes mucus to clog the walls of your intestines and trap toxins inside your body-sick nasty) and backs up your digestion (we all know what that leads to). To further break it down our bodies can’t digest dairy properly because after breast-feeding we stop creating adequate levels of lactase, which is the enzyme required to break down the sugars in milk. We also have difficulty digesting the protein in milk called casein which has been associated with promoting cancer growth and can cause damage to our intestines and stomach. Thus whenever we eat dairy our bodies have to concentrate a ton of energy on breaking it down, contributing to sluggishness and weight gain. And before I step off my soap box can I please point out the fact that dairy contains a plethora of hormones, antibiotics and chemicals such as recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), a genetically engineered growth hormone which has been linked to increased rates of cancer?!! Ew.
So bottom-line, I’m not about to put that ish in my body. But I will put this completely dairy-free, gluten-free, tasty mac and cheese in it. Over and over again.
Baked Chipotle Chedda Mac n’ Cheese
One package Tinkyada GF, brown rice elbow macaroni
2 tbsp non-dairy butta such as Earth Balance
2 tbsp brown rice flour
1 large chipotle chile in adobo sauce, chopped
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/ tsp cayenne pepper
2 cups rice milk (or other non-dairy milk)
2 cups Daiya non-dairy shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup GF bread crumbs such as Ener-g
1. Preheat oven to 400. Heat a large pot of salted, boiling water, and cook pasta until al dente (about 12 minutes.) Drain and rinse briefly in cold water.
2. In the same pot, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add flour, and whisk constantly until smooth, about 2 minutes. Gradually add rice milk, and whisk constantly, about 5 minutes or until slightly thickened.
3. Stir in chipotle pepper, sea salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 1 cup shredded cheese, and cooked pasta and mix well.
4. Spoon pasta mixture into a foil-lined 8×8-inch baking dish. Top with remaining 1 cup cheese and bread crumbs.
5. Bake for 20 minutes, and then broil for an additional 2 minutes, until bubbly and slightly golden brown. Let stand 10 minutes before eating.
6. Serve with sauteed garlic green beans and grilled romaine salad for a delightful summertime spread. Don’t fret, I’ll post the perf accompanying recipes soon enough 🙂
Now chow down like it’s 1999 (you know, in your moms kitchen).