The Mac & Cheese Trilogy: Part 1

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I am quickly discovering that cheese is my absolute weakness.  I have not craved chicken since the day I gave it up, but for some reason, all things revolving around gooey cheesiness, like grilled cheese and the almighty mac & cheese have been on my mind.

Now, I’ve been semi lactose intolerant most of my life and have readily avoided milk, ice cream and yogurt throughout the years.  But cheese? No.  The upset stomachs were worth savoring the mozzarella of a pizza or the cheddar with my pasta.

But coming into vegetarianism, obviously led me to envy Rachael when she was strong enough to take the vegan route.  And the more and more I learn about consuming dairy (aka animal secretions) the more I want to try and avoid it from this point on.  So as I ATTEMPT to cut back on the cheese I decided to pay homage the super unhealthy mac & cheese one last time in a 3 part series, by creating a semi good-for-you vegetarian version, a better vegan option AND culminate with a raw one.

Being vegetarian or vegan doesn’t mean you have to give up the things you crave completely- you just have to think outside the box and invent what fits in your lifestyle! 🙂

  

VEGETABLE MACARONI & CHEESE

1 pound pasta (elbows or shells work best), cooked

2 cups almond milk

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup Parmesan cheese

3 cups broccoli, cut into pieces

2 cups frozen green peas

1/3 cup onion, chopped

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp spelt flour

½ cup breadcrumbs

1 tbsp olive oil for frying

1 tsp black pepper

  • In a saucepan, cook butter and onions over medium heat until butter is melted
  • Add spelt flour and continue stirring for another minute until mixture is well blended
  • Pour in ½ cup almond milk and using a whisk, quickly stir for 1 minute. 
  • Continue pouring almond milk in, ½ cup at a time, and repeat the process until the milk is gone
  • Then turn the heat on medium/high and add in cheddar cheese, vigorously whisking for 2 minutes
  • Add in Parmesan cheese and pepper and whisk again on medium/high heat for another 2 minutes
  • When the cheeses are blended, quickly remove from heat and pour into another bowl
  • In another frying pan, cook the broccoli and peas in the olive oil on medium heat for 4-5 minutes just to get them a little cooked before they go in the oven
  • Combine pasta, cheese sauce, broccoli, peas and breadcrumbs together in a large bowl and mix well
  • Pour into a casserole or baking pan and cook at 425 degrees for 15 minutes
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