Mac & Faux-Cheesy

I saw this tweet the other day saying that in France, vegan cheese is called “fauxmage” (regular cheese is “fromage”) and I just thought that was so brilliant! I haven’t been as vegan as I’d like for a multitude of reasons, but that’s still the goal that I’m working towards. As such, I’m still experimenting with different ways to create some of the dishes I used to love.

It wasn’t until this vegan experiment that I began to feel like I could really cook, I’ve always considered myself more of a baker but because of my raw meat phobia, cooking what I’d call “real food” wasn’t something I did. Now that I’ve removed the pressure of needing meat in my meal to make it “real food” I’ve been able to just look at random ingredients and come up with a meal. I can cook seasonally, with whatever fruits and vegetables are available for sale, or literally go outside and pick stuff from a tree in my backyard and voila…I’ve got food. It still kind of blows my mind lol.

I’ve also managed to enjoy things I’d never liked before (callaloo, I’m talking to you) just because I’ve figured out how prepare and season it myself. And, after seeing that tweet about fauxmage it got me craving some mac & cheese so I started thinking about how I make that without using an actual block of vegan cheese (another successful experiment btw). This time around I read a few recipes, in particular one for a vegan cheese sauce on Loving it Vegan, in order to form the basis for my own recipe.

Most (if not all) faux-cheese recipes call for nutritional yeast, which gives you that umami, kind of cheesy, nutty flavour that is kind of reminiscent of cheese. Don’t get me wrong, it is definitely not cheese…so don’t jump in thinking this is going to be an exact substitute, it’s almost more of a savoury creamy pasta, but for me it works to satisfy the same taste buds that are craving some cheesy goodness. It’s the kind of thing that’s great as a side or just on it’s own.

Mac & Faux-Cheesy (8 side servings)

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2.5 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • ¼ onion (chopped)
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast (more to taste)
  • ¼ tsp seasoned salt (more to taste)
  • ¼ tsp black pepper (more to taste)
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp Cajun seasoning
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • Escallion/green onion (garnish)
  • Macaroni (prepare according to package instructions)
  • Hot pepper sauce (because pepper makes everything better)

Directions

  1. Prepare macaroni (or other pasta) according to package directions.
  2. Heat 3 tbsp coconut oil in a large frying pan until it starts to bubble.
  3. Add sifted 2.5 tbsp all-purpose flour to the pan and stir to prevent it from clumping up.
  4. Once it’s thoroughly mixed, add 2 cloves chopped garlic and ¼ chopped onion and let it cook a bit in the mixture.
  5. Add 1 cup coconut milk and 1 cup soy milk to the mixture and stir until everything is well blended together.
  6. Mix into sauce ¼ cup nutritional yeast, ¼ tsp seasoned salt, ¼ tsp black pepper, ½ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp paprika, ½ tsp cajun seasoning and ¼ tsp turmeric.
  7. Pour the finished sauce until your macaroni and mix together until thoroughly coated, serve and garnish with escallion and your favourite hot pepper sauce.

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