There’s pretentious food, and experimental food, and food you make to show off…but Macaroni and Cheese is none of these. I think I’d call it nostalgic, comforting face-stuffing food. You know what I’m talking about–food that takes you back, makes you feel young and low-maintenance again. Like peanut butter and jelly, for instance. Hot dogs and chips. A pile of pierogies (okay…maybe that one has less universal appeal). Yes, Macaroni and Cheese takes its place among all these most American (minus the pierogies) of food icons. Unfortunately, vegans and lactards and all manner of non-cheese-eaters are frequently left with poor substitutes. DAMN SHAME.
What happens to a person who is denied comfort food? Sure, for a while you scrape by…but I’m not so sure that’s a good idea. Sometimes you needses your feel good foods.
Yesterday was one of those times.
After working from dawn’s buttcrack until 9 PM, your BMG wanted a shower, a manicure, some food, a tall beer, a therapy session, a massage, a helicopter ride over some volcanos, a bigger backyard, a personal assistant to deal with my family for me, a new wardrobe, shoes that didn’t hurt, some orphans like Angelina’s, and why not, a motherfucking pony, too.
But, hey, I was willing to settle for food.
It was a “blue box” moment if I’d ever seen one. I frantically began slapping together food, much to the dismay of the Boy, who felt that my nonsensical ranting was probably incompatible with boiling water and santoku knives. He promptly steered me to the shower, and ten minutes later, I emerged ready to handle big girl tools again.
This recipe is cheap and easy, just like you like me. Fact is, most dairy-free mac and cheese recipes tell you to make your own cheese using cashews and agar flakes and all other manner of ridiculous processes that I’ll admit to having done but hey listen let’s save that shit for days when we aren’t feeling homicidal, shall we? Still other recipes instruct you to use a storebought soy cheese that’s packed full of preservatives, soy, and even milk-based products, which, again, I’ll admit to having done, but OH HELLZ BELLZ sometimes you don’t want that compromise. So sweet, great, awesomesauce, this is not one of those recipes. If you can boil water, you can do this. And I’m not saying that to make you feel better about your cooking skills, like a lot of food people do….I really mean it. Yeah, no problem. You’re welcome.
Thank God we develop irrational attachments to our food. Now I don’t have to go to therapy, take a helicopter trip, adopt orphans, or find that goddamned pony. I can just fill up a bowl, grab a spoon, and eat those feelings away! Mmm, refreshing!
**Want another low-effort wonder of a meal while you’re at it? Check my Vegan Spinach Lentil Soup.**
[UPDATE: Wanna turn this recipe into little, giftable macaroni-and-cheese kits? Click on over.]
Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, Vegan Macaroni and Cheese
Makes 4-6 Servings
1/2 cup flour
1 cup nutritional yeast
3/4-1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. onion powder (not onion salt)
1/4 tsp. garlic powder (not garlic salt)
2 1/2 cups almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
3 Tablespoons olive oil
12 oz. fun pasta (you can use a whole pound, but it’ll be less “saucy”)
Cook your pasta in salted water until it’s al dente, then drain. In your large pasta pot, whisk together all remaining ingredients (told you this would be easy). Turn the heat onto medium and whisk constantly to keep things smooth. When you have a thick sauce, toss the pasta back in, and use a large wooden spoon to fold it all together. When the pasta’s thoroughly coated and the sauce is the as thick as you like it, take the pot off the heat, and you’re done! I like to serve this with Southern greens and a stiff drink, but feel free to experiment.
© 2009 – 2011, Genevieve P. Charet. All rights reserved.