I was craving the ridiculously delicious mac and “cheese” from my favorite DC vegan restaurant, but didn’t have time to go there, so I decided to whip up my own version using ingredients I had in my cupboard. I have tried it before, using various recipes I had found on the Internet, but have never been very happy with the results (in one case, I was actually disgusted by it!). This version is vegan and gluten-free.
1 tablespoon organic olive oil
1 tablespoon organic rice flour
1 cup organic almond milk
2 tablespoon organic cashew butter
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1/8 teaspoon organic garlic powder
sea salt to taste
Pasta, cooked (I used brown rice pasta)
Make a roux by blending the olive oil and flour in a thick-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk for just a few minutes until the oil and flour are evenly mixed together and start to froth. You want to cook out the raw taste of the flour, but don’t let it brown. Next, add the milk a little at a time to the oil and flour mixture, while continuing to whisk. Once all the milk is completely integrated, continue to whisk over the medium heat for another minute, then remove the pan from the heat. You now have a white sauce base.
Next, add the cashew butter, whisking until it is thoroughly blended. Then mix in the nutritional yeast, again whisking until it is well-blended. Season with mustard powder, garlic powder, and salt.
Pour the mixture over the cooked pasta and toss until well-coated. Enjoy!
One of my favorite vegetarian meals is chickpea loaf. It’s simple to make, and hearty, yet light. Chickpeas are full of fiber and I love their rich, creamy taste and texture.
1 cup dried organic chick peas
3 cups filtered water
2 organic free-range eggs, lightly beaten
2 stalks organic celery, coarsely chopped
1 small organic onion, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
sea salt, to taste
organic ketchup (optional)
Soak the chickpeas in water for at least 4 hours (I threw them in a bowl, covered them with water, headed off to a meeting and when I got home, they were ready!). Drain the water, then place the chickpeas in a saucepan with 3 cups of filtered water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and cook, covered, for about 1 hour or until the chickpeas are tender and most of the water has been absorbed.
Remove the chickpeas from the stove and mash them with a fork or potato masher until they are all broken up into little pieces. Stir in the eggs and blend well. Then add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Place in a greased baking dish and cook uncovered at 350°F for 1 hour. Serve warm with a side salad or cooked greens. In the photo, I have a side of kale chips seasoned with curry and garlic, decorated with fresh violet flowers.
It can be a bit dry, so if you like, you can serve it with organic ketchup.
I used to rely on my copy of Diet for a Small Planet for creative vegetarian meal ideas. I loved it so much that I wore it out – it literally fell apart from use. I’ve never replaced it, but several recipes have stayed in my heart and memory bank. Here is one of my favorites, which I have adapted.