Mac and Cheeze

***Edited — If one substituted GF macaroni noodles and either omitted the bread crumbs or used GF bread crumbs this would be a great GF dish.***

This recipe came from Vegan Comfort Food by Alicia Simpson.  I looked at this book in the book store and couldn’t decide whether I wanted to buy it or not.  So I put a request in at our local library for them to buy it.  We are very fortunate in our local library system in that they will usually buy any book less than 2 years old that is requested.  Not only did they buy it, they bought four copies and since I requested it, I was first on the hold list.  The reason I hesitated to buy the book is that while it is vegan, it didn’t look particularly healthy!  My main reason for trying to cook vegan is for the health benefits.  Don’t get me wrong, I stopped eating meat entirely when my dad sold my pet cow when I was about 12.  Prior to that I ate fish or poultry on very rare occasions and we almost never had it at home.  I can only remember eating beef once.  I love the taste of dairy products and do partake on occasion.  However, if one reads about factory farming (dairy and egg) it is pretty gross.  Anyway on to the recipe.

I’ve had trouble getting the males in this household to eat dishes billed as “cheese” in vegan recipes because they do not like the taste of nutritional yeast.  This recipe did not include that ingredient.  Some of the ingredients in the sauce include Yukon gold potatoes, carrot, onion and nuts.  I made a few modifications to the recipe and will modify it even further the next time.  The recipe called for 2/3 cup of oil (see what I mean about less than healthy?)  I cut that to just slightly over 1/3 cup and will reduce it further next time.  The ingredients also include both cashews and macadamia nuts.  I did not have success finding macadamia nuts in the local grocery store so substituted raw cashews for them.  I also used whole wheat macaroni noodles.

You may have noticed a said I would make changes the next time I made it, YES, I will make it again.  Finally a hit with everyone!  I get lots of questions now whenever I try a new dish.  I did not tell them this was supposed to be Mac and Cheeze, I just billed it as pasta.   I only told them there was nothing in it that they didn’t like.  Even Opicky Wan liked it.  Guy snatched the leftovers for lunch and said he would be willing to eat every week.  I will add a disclaimer — I don’t think this really tastes like cheese, but does have a similar consistency and a good flavor!

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