Monday, April 26, 2010

vegan cashew mac& cheese

I have had a sweet tooth lately and a piece of fruit isn't cutting it but what does totally satisfy it is unsweetened carob chips. I like the Sunspire brand. I love carob instead of chocolate or cacao.
Also tonight I made a vegan cashew mac & cheese. The recipe is from one of my favorite restaurants Real Food Daily in Santa Monica,Ca. If you are in Santa Monica don't miss the chance to eat there. I adjusted the recipe a bit because I did not have all of the ingredients for the cashew cheese but it worked out just fine. I will give both the real version and my substitutions.

First make the cashew Cheddar cheese

1 1/4 cups raw cashews
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
2 tsp. onion powder...I used 1 whole slice so about 5 rings from a medium red onion
2 tsp. sea salt...I left it out
1 tsp. garlic powder....I used 2 cloves of garlic
1/8 tsp white pepper... I used Cayenne pepper
3 1/2 cups unsweetened plain soy milk...I used rice milk
1 cup agar flakes...I did not use...I used some mesa flour
1/2 cup canola oil...I used grape seed oil
1/4 cup yellow miso....I used Nama Shoyu
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

Using the pulse button on you food processor finely grind the cashews and add the nutritional yeast, onion & garlic powder and pepper. Pulse 3 times to blend it all. Combine the soy milk.agar & oil in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Stir occasionally for about 10 minutes. Pour the mixture into the food processor with it running until it is smooth & creamy. Here in lies the trick. If you do not use the agar this will not happen but it will still work I have found. It will be more liquidy than it should be but when it is baked in the mac & cheese this remedies that issue in my use the agar if you can find it. You want to have it dissolve.

12 ounces of spelt elbow macaroni
2 slices of wheat bread...I like to add paprika to the bread crumbs
1 tbs. fresh parsley...I use more to taste
1 tbs. olive oil
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 325 & cook pasta according to instructions on the box. Put bread along with some paprika to taste in the food processor and pulse to make bread crumbs.
Drain pasta keeping 3/4 cup cook water for later. Toss the macaroni & cheese mixture together in a casserole dish adding the cook water if needed. cover and bake for 20 minutes. Toss the bread crumbs with the oil, garlic, pepper & parsley and sprinkle on top of the macaroni continue baking uncovered for 15 minutes or until the crumbs brown. My faster version is to skip the step of mixing the garlic, pepper,bread crumbs, parsley & oil together and simply toss my chopped parsley and bread crumbs on top of the macaroni before ever baking it,cover and bake for 20 minutes. This is yummy topped off with steamed asparagus. You could add the parsley after baking to preserve the nutrients like calcium that parsley possess. It is not just a garnish.

Making nut cheeses is an art in & of itself raw or otherwise. It takes a few times to get it right. I am still trying even with a recipe.

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