Vegan MoFo Day 2: “Recreate a Meal From Your Childhood”
When Erin told me that Day 2 was “a childhood favorite” my mind instantly went to the classic: mac n’ cheese. Erin suggested quiche, but I told her to calm down.
Growing up, the very first thing I learned to make at home was Kraft macaroni n’ cheese. Learning to boil pasta as an 8 year old is a big deal, right? My mom can testify that my brother and I went through box after box after box, especially when we were, on occasion, left to fend for ourselves. At my grandmother’s house she would cook us up the same thing, adding in some Lawry’s seasoned salt for an extra special flavor. I hope every child that grew up in the U.S. got to enjoy it as often as I did.
Going vegetarian was easy for me because I could still eat my favorites. But going vegan the biggest struggle I had was discovering my addiction to cheese. I used to wake up in the middle of the night craving macaroni and cheese, hot Cheetos, slices of Kraft American cheese… you name it! Finding a good macaroni and vegan cheese recipe was probably the most important thing to me in my first stages of veganism. Cue Rip Esselstyn’s Engine 2 Diet! I absolutely love his recipe for “macaroni and NO cheese“. It is oil-free and my personal favorite of all vegan mac recipes. After making the dish many times, here are my modified instructions, including a little extra from my grandma’s recipe. Cheers!
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1 cup cashews
- 1/3 cup lemon juice (or lime)
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 tablespoon Lawry’s seasoned salt
- 1/2 red bell pepper
- 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 14 ounces whole grain shells pasta, cooked
- Turn on the oven to 350 degrees.
- Slice the onion and red bell pepper. It can be messy since you’re blending it later anyways.
- Sauté onion and red bell pepper on medium heat in non-stick skillet with a little water (no oil!).
- In a food processor, combine the onions, cashews, lemon juice, water, and salt. Blend.
- Next add in red peppers, nutritional yeast, and garlic powder. Blend.
- Pour sauce onto the pasta, toss the sauce with the pasta, adding in the Lawry’s seasoned salt.
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until golden brown on top.
All I have to say is Amen. Demolished by three adults (one omnivore too).