Friday, October 21, 2011

Italian Cheezy Mac

Growing up with a family of six, my mom had to whip up an easy, quick dinner that all could enjoy. I remember her making macaroni and adding in sliced hotdogs. I loved the meaty taste along with the milky cheese. I attempted to recreate that in a vegan, healthy style this week. 

Mr.Organnix loves his sausage. Bring home a hot keilbasa and you'll win over his heart. As I was shopping around Mother's Market and thinking of my love, I saw Field Roast Italian sausage. I normally wouldn't buy the faux meats but this company is highly rated among vegan chefs so I thought I'd give it a chance. I would usually make my macaroni with Daiya cheese because it is easy and gives it that great gooey, cheesy texture. 

I've been experimenting with nutritional yeast in many recipes, including nacho cheese, peanut butter cups, and tofu scramble. I've seen other bloggers make this cheese sauce for broccoli and thought why not try it in a mac and cheese? 

I made it the same way I made the nacho cheese, but this time added more butter and soy milk. I wanted it more like a sauce than a dip, but should have stuck to the original recipe. Adding extra water and milk not only thinned out the sauce, but the flavor as well. 

The sausage made this dish. I grilled it up in some garlic olive oil along side some panko bread crumbs. The mac and cheese would not have been tasty without these two. I'm not going to post the recipe because it's not worth making again, but the idea of putting the sausage in is worth trying. 

The bread crumbs almost give you the bacon bits flavor that some people love.  I don't buy them though because they're made from hydrolyzed soy and corn, which is not healthy. Hydrogen is not an ingredient I can imagine in my food. 

My suggestion for a great mac and cheese is:
  • Melt 1 bag daiya with some non-dairy milk and earth balance.
  • Cover an 8x8 pan of cooked pasta with the sauce and stir. 
  • Cover the cheesy pasta with panko bread crumbs. 
  • Spray with oil. 
  • Cook at 375* until bread crumbs are browned and crispy. 
    • If you want the meaty add-in, pan fry the sliced sausage while your pasta is cooking and add in before the sauce.
Simple. Healthy. Delicious. 

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