I had no idea. I mean, I really had no idea. I wonder how many yummy dishes I will have to make before I stop being surprised by the vegan recipes that are out there. While I might have to change some of my go-to online sites for slam dunk dishes (sorry smitten kitchen!) the possibilities are virtually endless. It’s very exciting and I’m so appreciative of the vegan bloggers out there for helping us transition (deliciously!) to a plant-based diet.
Pictured above was Friday night’s dinner-vegan mac and cheese. It was such a treat (isn’t mac and cheese always a treat?). And when I found this recipe I also found a wonderful website called “The Simple Veganista” and you can find the blog and all the mouth-watering recipes here. A new go-to site for sure.
This mac and cheese contains a combination of almond milk, water, white miso, lemon juice and nutritional yeast flakes that create its creamy texture and cheesy taste. I have never used miso before and wasn’t even sure where to find it in Whole Foods. It turned out to be in the refrigerated section with the other vegan foods and it looks like this:
Miso is made from fermented soybeans. Only one tablespoon of the paste goes into this dish but it adds something very special to the flavor. In fact, I found the layered flavors in this dish to be more interesting and “adult” than the non-vegan varieties of mac and cheese I used to make.
The pasta I used for this dish is gluten-free, and I have to say that since I gave up gluten nearly three years ago the quality and variety of gluten-free pasta has vastly improved. I ate very little pasta for the first few years because the likelihood of boiling up grayish mush was pretty good. Not any more. This is currently my favorite brand of gluten-free pasta:
It cooks up al dente every time, and since it’s corn-based, it looks like pasta I want to eat. In this dish it held up beautifully even after being baked in the casserole. I also made the breadcrumbs from my favorite grainy toasted gluten-free bread from Trader Joe’s. It made a perfect crispy topping. Unfortunately, I just discovered that this bread lists egg whites as an ingredient so I will be searching for a replacement pronto. And here’s the finished dish served up with greens from our garden:
This was so good. It was also terrific the next day (as any good mac and cheese must be!) Admittedly, this is not likely to be a weekly staple for us; the corn-based pasta, while delicious, is not one of the nutritionally hard-working whole grains like quinoa or brown rice. That’s okay though. I only occasionally made mac and cheese before. Mostly, I just wanted to know that it was possible.
On another note, David and I are both reading a book entitled “Main Street Vegan” by Victoria Moran. It’s an excellent resource that includes practical advice for transitioning to a vegan lifestyle as well as important nutritional information. The author’s enthusiasm and commitment are inspiring, and if you are interested in learning more about veganism she really covers all the bases. Her website is here if you want to check her out.
Have a great and healthy Monday.