Vegetarian Chilli Mac and Cheese (Serves 14)
This recipe, relies on a super-gooey cheese sauce that satisfies those who like both nachos and macaroni and cheese. It's mixed with chili, which helps the sauce spread out to be a little less stretchy. Full-fat coconut milk will work here, but because it is a little more oily and has a more pronounced coconut flavour than low-fat coconut milk, the latter is preferable.
Nutritional yeast is used to enhance the flavour and boost the nutrition in vegetarian and vegan dishes. It tastes a little cheesy and is available at health food stores and online. The raw cashews need to be soaked for 8 hours or boiled for 10 minutes. Chilli con carne is a spicy stew containing spices, chilli peppers, meat, tomatoes and beans.
1/2 cup raw cashews
1 cup warm tap water
1 cup warmed low-fat coconut milk
1/3 cup tapioca starch (available from health stores and online)
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon white or brown miso paste (available at Asian supermarkets and restaurants)
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt, or more as needed
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
450g dried macaroni , just-cooked or reheated (8 cups)
3 cups of your favourite vegetarian Chili con carne (chili) warmed
Soften the cashews either by covering them in water in a bowl and soaking them for 8 hours (at room temperature) or by cooking them in a pot of boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain.
Transfer the cashews to a blender along with the warm tap water, warm coconut milk, tapioca starch, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, miso, maple syrup, onion and garlic powders, the teaspoon of kosher salt and the ground turmeric.
Purée for several minutes on high speed, until smooth.
Pour that blended mixture into a medium saucepan; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 5 to 10 minutes or until it thickens into a sauce. Note: The sauce goes from thickened to a gooey mass of cheese rather quickly, so remove from the heat promptly.
Combine the sauce with the hot macaroni until evenly coated, then mix in the vegan chili until well incorporated.
Taste, and add salt as needed.
Serve right away.
The Washington Post