Mac and Yease: baked in a hot oven, vegan cheese and cream bubbling from the sides baking to a nice crispiness on top and soft melted goodness inside.
I absolutely love mac and cheese. Being Italian we were never given mac and cheese. My Dad would say "that stuff is crap, pasta should be made the way we make pasta". I was always curious though and my first experience with mac and cheese happened when I was in post-secondary studying engineering design. Money was tight and my parents were spending a lot of time at the cabin. Never able to leave well enough alone I would get the packaged mac and cheese and elaborate on it, creating dishes like Thai shrimp mac and cheese, spicy Italian mac and cheese, classic mac and cheese mixed with ketchup, and a favorite of mine, bbq hot dog mac and cheese.
To me, mac and cheese always brings thoughts of home soul cookin'. Fried chicken, collard greens, and three cheese mac and cheese, oozing with creamy cheesy goodness. Tonight's dish was inspired by a trip to Seattle my wife and I did. We happened upon the old Armory building of the Seattle center which had a food fair with various foods like pizza, fresh gourmet burgers, meat pies, and a great organic café, Plum Pantry, where we read on the specials menu "Mac and Yease". I said to Nicoletta that it sounded interesting and had my curiosity along with her's, and since it was vegan Nicoletta was surely in. It was absolutely delicious, scrumptious, out of this world good. It had such flavor that when the bowl was empty we were still trying to scrape the bits of creaminess off the bowl. I could have eaten at least another few bowls but unfortunately, they were closing and cleaning up. So the quest began what was that flavor and what is yease.
Back home, after some google searching, we found that when making a vegan mac and cheese the ingredient most used for the "yease" flavour was nutritional yeast. On a trip to Earth's General Store located in a beautiful culinary pedway on 104th Street and north of Jasper Avenue in Edmonton, we by surprise found the nutritional yeast.
Mac and yease here we come.
Of course, I saw some vegan Monterrey Jack which I thought would work very well in giving this dish the oozing goodness we love, and the great flavor of unsweetened almond milk helps build the creamy sauce. Blend that with an array of spices like smoky Spanish paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper a little bit of Italian seasoned bread crumbs and some fresh chopped parsley finish this dish with a flavor beyond good. Baked in a hot oven, cheese and cream bubbling from the sides baking to a nice crispiness on top and soft melted goodness inside. A nice nutty backdrop from the almond milk. This is definitely making my mouth water. It was so good I can't wait to make it again. Don't be afraid of vegan dishes this one's a testament to how great they are. I am singing a song that comes to mind as I close off. "Return of the Mack" by Mark Morrison.
So so vegan cheesy yeasy good! You gotta eat this!
A little update on The Mac: we made it again for a vegan/gluten-free event we catered and we used corn elbow pasta. Even in the gluten-free version, absolutely delicious!Print
- 1 and ½ cup elbow pasta
- 1 and ½ cup Almond milk
- ¼ cup onion, chopped
- 6 tbsp nutritional yest
- pinch of salt
- dash of pepper
- pinch of paprika
- pinch of garlic powder
- pinch of onion powder
- 2 tbsp potato starch
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 100 g vegan cheese (jack cheese) grated
- dusting of crumbs
- In a large pot bring 8 cups of salted water to boil. Taste the water for saltiness.
- Toss in pasta and cook for 11 minutes.
- While pasta is cooking in a saucepan drizzle in oil and heat. Toss in onion and cook till translucent
- Dust in potato starch and make a rue. When mixture is like a paste add almond milk.
- Throw in nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper, stirring constantly till nice and creamy.
- Add ½ the grated jack cheese. Stir again.
- Take pasta off heat, drain, and toss into sauce mixture. Mix well till pasta is well coated.
- Blend in some of the breadcrumbs.
- Toss mixture into an oven-safe dish.
- Sprinkle the rest of the breadcrumbs on top.
- Place the rest of the cheese evenly over the top.
- Bake in a 400° F preheated oven. Cook until nice and golden brown and crispy on top, approximately 30 minutes.
- Take out of oven. Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley.
- Ready to serve.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Main
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: North American
When I am not cooking, I enjoy playing musical instruments, singing, writing. I have learned over the years to live in gratitude and enjoy the moment.