Hey there, friends! I feel like it’s been forever since we last spoke via blog post, so let’s catch up!
How are ya? How was your week? How was your Valentine’s Day?!
Our Valentine’s was rather quiet but definitely fun – think homemade soft cashew cheese, plenty of wine, and the first season of Boardwalk Empire on DVD. Add to that T sitting next to me and four snuggly cats, and I could not ask for a better one. 🙂
Anyway, like I said, there was plenty of wine, and we all know how wine can make us do some crazy things. In fact, that bottle of wine is the reason I’m talking to you today. Because that bottle of wine led us to make the CRAZY decision to enter a vegan mac n cheese contest – with no set recipe and (my) total lack of experience with such contests – that was less than 7 days away! Yikes!
Normally, I would freak out a bit and regret my decision immediately the next day, but not this time. We decided to roll with it and got our butts in the kitchen! After all, what’s the point of living life if you don’t do things that scare you every now and then?! Even if we couldn’t craft the perfect recipe in 6 days, it was certainly worth a try!
After going over our MANY past vegan mac n cheese attempts and getting sentimental over the fond memories of cheesy goodness, we settled on something rather generic but added our own special flare to it – as we always seem to do. 😉 I present to you all: Boozy Bacon Mac n Cheese – veganized.
Perhaps it’s not smart of me to share our “secret” competition recipe, but – for us – food is a powerful form of activism, and we want you all to get the chance to make this recipe for your non-vegan friends and family right away – to once again prove that no animal needs to be harmed for us to enjoy a creamy comforting bacon-y bowl of mac n cheese.
Actually, as you read this, we will most-likely be on our way to the competition (unless by some miracle I get this posted before then)! Eeeeek! Wish us luck! If you’re in the Baltimore area, feel free to check it out and come say hi! Info for the event can be found at the PEP Foods website. If you’re not in the area, don’t worry! We will be doing a live broadcast from the event via Periscope, so make sure you give us a follow – @plantpowercouple – to be notified when we go live!
- 12 oz. small shell pasta (brown rice pasta for GF)
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil
- 2-3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1/3 Daiya Farmhouse Cheddar Block (or your favorite vegan cheese)
- 1 1/4 cup vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup dry white wine (optional, but check Barnivore.com to ensure vegan friendliness!)
- 3 - 4 Tbsp whole wheat flour (tapioca starch works for GF)
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1 Tbsp yellow mustard
- 1 batch of our coconut bacon - http://www.plantpowercouple.com/recipes/coconut-bacon/
- 2 tsp sea salt
- First, make your pasta (according to the directions on the box) and your coconut bacon.
- Add the coconut oil to a large pot on medium heat. Throw in the minced garlic cloves and saute for 1-2 minutes or until the garlic is fragrant.
- Add your Daiya cheese, vegetable broth, and the optional white wine. Cover the pot and bring the liquid to a boil.
- Once the liquid is boiling, remove the lid and whisk the ingredients together until no clumps remain.
- Whisk in your flour and nutritional yeast until the mixture is smooth and there are no clumps.
- If you want a thicker sauce, you can cook on a low heat for a bit longer, but if the consistency is right for you, turn the heat off and stir in your onion powder and any other spices or herbs you'd like (remember...we will be adding sodium in the form of bacon salt in a bit!)
- Make your bacon salt: After the coconut bacon comes out of the oven, let it sit out to dry as much as possible. Then, add it to a mortar and pestle (you can also use a coffee grinder or small blender) with the sea salt and grind the two together until you have a bacon "salt". Add this to the sauce little by little (go slowly on this one!) until it reaches your desired taste. Then, add your pasta and mix it all up!
- Serve in a big bowl with a side of more bacon salt! If you'd like to get your veggies in, you can always throw some small chopped broccoli or spinach in there. I don't know about you, but my favorite way to eat veggies is definitely smothered in cheese sauce. 😉 Enjoy!