Explorations into Vegan Mac n Cheese – Part 1

My vitamin b12 tablets dropped while making this and smashed all over the floor. I guess that means as a vegan I am going to die now right?

Tonight I thought I would try to reconnect my childhood sweetheart – macaroni cheese.

If you have read my about me section, you’ll know that macaroni cheese was one of the last things I ate before turning vegan. I love macaroni cheese. I really do. Its personal to me and reminds me of my family. My mum and sister both make the best macaroni cheese. I guess I’ve kind of missed it since being vegan.

Now I’ve looked at various vegan mac n cheese recipes online but none of them seem anywhere near close to the macaroni cheese I grew up with. So today I’m starting a mission to try and get somewhere close to the macaroni cheese I used to know and love.

This is my first attempt and it came out… alright.

vegan mac n cheese

I made this mac n cheese using the same method I used to use, but using non-dairy substitutes where necessary. So starting with the ‘cheese’ sauce, I melted some non-dairy butter, before adding flour, then cashew milk to get a ‘milky’ liquid base for the sauce. So far so good.

At this point I would normally grate an onion into the sauce, so I did. No problems here.

Next is where the old me would grate an entire block of extra mature cheddar into the liquid giving the sauce its cheesy taste (duh) while also thinking it up nicely. Instead, vegan me, today added 3 tablespoons of nutritional yeast and half a block of Violife vegan cheese.

Now the issue I found here is that Violife ‘cheese’ isn’t really that cheesy and has a bit of a rubbery texture which didn’t melt all that well into the sauce. It almost gave it a slightly synthetic consistency, although in fairness it tasted fine, if a little mild.

vegan mac n cheese

Next I added some seasoning and American mustard. I would have liked to add some jerk seasoning at this point which is something my mum taught me back in the day, but I couldn’t find any in the spice cupboard.

Once the sauce was done I stirred it into some cooked pasta and then poured the mixture out onto a baking tray. One final touch I like to add to my macaroni is a sprinkling of breadcrumbs and black pepper on top. This top layer goes nice and crispy after 20 minutes in the oven.

In the end it came out okay but I can definitely improve it so I’m not going to post a recipe just yet. Alicia was here to try it and she liked it, which I think is probably because it was slightly blander and therefore child friendly than the macaroni cheese Daddy used to make!

I’ll be back for round 2 soon. I’m on a mission now to get macaroni cheese back on my menu. Oh yeah, must get some more b12.

Check out my second attempt here.