easy vegan mac ‘n’ cheese

I have to admit I don’t make this dish as much as I’d like to – but every time I have this, it is such a treat. And yes, it is completely vegan and yes, it is extremely comforting and goopy and stringy and everything you want from a classic mac and cheese.

Except you don’t feel like slipping in a food coma afterwards (well, depending on how much you eat ofc). It’s also wayyy healthier for you than a dairy mac and cheese because here’s the kicker: it’s mostly made from potatoes. There’s also a lot of vegan mac and cheese recipes out there made from cashews – but they can be expensive and they’re pretty high in calories too. So all hail king potato! I’ve made this mac and cheese enough times to know exactly what to put in it to make it deliciously sticky and just the right amount of smokey and cheesy flavoured.

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Okay, you might not have all these ingredients in your pantry at the moment. No worries, I’m currently working on a guide to ~weird vegan ingredients~, so keep your eyes peeled for it if you want to venture into vegan cooking and you don’t know what the hell everyone is talking about. Or you know, use Google. In case you already have all this stuff (hi hello there vegans) – you’ll notice right away how ridiculously easy this recipe is. As usual, I edited an existing recipe: the nacho cheese sauce from Hot For Food.

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Serves 2 very hungry humans:
– 250 gr pasta
– 2 cups (300 gr) potato, peeled and cubed
– 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
– 4 tsp liquid smoke
– juice of 1/2 lemon
– 1 tsp white miso paste
– 1 tsp garlic powder
– 2 tsp tomato puree
– 2 tbsp sunflower oil
– 1 tsp smoked paprika
– 1 tsp tapioca flour
– pepper and salt
– fresh parsley for dressing

1. Cook your pasta as per instructions on the packaging. I love the rough edges of cavatappi – it makes the sauce stick better – but any chunky pasta will do.
2. Meanwhile, peel and cube the potatoes and boil them until cooked.
3. In a blender, put in all the liquid and soggy ingredients: liquid smoke, lemon juice, miso paste, tomato puree and sunflower oil. Don’t blend, but mix together with a fork.
4. Then add the dry ingredients: nutritional yeast, smoked paprika, garlic powder – but not the tapioca! Mix again with a fork, don’t blend yet.
5. When the potatoes are cooked, drain them. Add the teaspoon of tapioca flour to the mixture in the blender and put the cooked potatoes on top. Now blend until a sticky sauce starts to form. Too sticky and thick? Add a bit of water. Too liquid? Add a bit more of tapioca flour. The tapioca is what gives the sauce the stringy and sticky – you can make it without but it won’t be as gloopy and satisfying to eat ;).
6. Add pepper and salt to taste. This is great with some freshly chopped parsley, if you have some around. Or sprinkle on some more nooch (you know you want to) – or some fried onions on top.

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