Dinner time!… and with our kitchen kind of empty -not really but for the little gourmet loonies we have become it is. I take it as making the most out of our home experience before moving on south.
We browse the options. Veggie soup -again, porridge -what?!, stir fry veggies -again?!… mmm… Chris says pizza. I know he’s not really serious but I’m the “why not?” kind of person so I start to check the ingredient list in my head. We have enough flour to make a tiny crust… no tomatoes… no daiya cheese… no toppings… no mood for going to the market… no pizza. But kind of on the same track: Mac ‘n Cheese!!
He doesn’t looks excited so I discard at first, until I start checking: pasta -yes, tofu -yes, garlic -yes, nutritional yeast -yes… Mac ‘n Cheese -YES!… How silly we are, limiting our life experiences to what ever is prepackaged. I mean that in the deeper sense of the expression but it applies in a fantastic way for our dinner since what I am already smelling in my head is so very, but SO VERY different from the Mac ‘n Cheese from the blue box. Yessss, that blue box I bought once that makes me wonder if there are carrots included in the cheese powder ’cause that orange I can’t explain. On their behalf I must say, it’s kind of nice knowing in case of a zombie apocalypse when the Earth dries out and there is no more food, no more zucchinis, there will be a blue box with an expiration date of about 10 years ahead.
Of course you can be a homemade-Christmas-cookies-style of person and your grandma used to make you Mac ‘n Cheese from scratch and I’m trashing your memories by implying all non vegan recipes are blue boxed. You’re right, my apologies… BUT even to you, I DARE you these will be another so very different and tasty experience that your body will appreciate. And if you don’t think so after trying them, feel free to send me your grandma recipe and I’ll give it a shot! I’ll share it with the world at least via our Facebook page.
So enough bragging, here’s the recipe:
8 oz. quinoa macaroni pasta -we like to keep it wheat free and quinoa is great alternative. It has lots of nutrients and is high in protein, plus it doesn’t gets all mushy like other wheat free pasta, but feel free to use what you prefer… quinoa is ninja anyways, just so you know.
12 oz. extra firm silken tofu -silken is better for the consistency you want, the other types won’t blend into a creamy paste and it might make your Mac ‘n Cheese experience a not very attractive one. HOWEVER, the flavor should be almost the same… but if it looks ugly you will think my recipe is no good… so please, go silken for this.
Half an onion, big one, chopped.
5 garlic cloves, big ones also finely chopped.
Nutritional yeast -kind of optional, you can make it without but it’s not the same. Nutritional yeast gives a cheesy flavor and great texture, also is super packed with protein and B vitamins. So I take bake the ‘optional’, you have to have it.
Some handfuls of spinach -this is optional. I feel happy and safe when my food has some green in it, but go for what ever drives you crazy. Nothing if you want the full Mac ‘n Cheese naughty satisfaction, or some mushrooms, herbs, dried tomatoes… tonight is spinach so this recipe calls for spinach.
Turmeric, olive oil, cayenne, salt and pepper…
Pretty simple: boil some salted water, add a bit of olive oil and stir in the pasta. Make sure to stir often so that it doesn’t sticks to the bottom. On a separate pan stir fry the onion until soft with about one teaspoon of turmeric, a dash or more of cayenne and pepper to taste. It’s always good to fry or roast the spices before adding any liquid, they will release their flavor, properties and aroma; specially the turmeric that can have a bitter taste otherwise. Add the garlic and when it’s cooked add the spinach. Please don’t overcook them, they should keep their bright green color. That color tells you they are still filled with nutrients and life, once the green is dead, everything is pretty much dead also. On the other side, blend the tofu until soft and creamy, adding just a very little bit of soy/almond/coconut milk if you need to. The pasta should be ready by now, careful not to overcook this either!!… drain it and mix with the veggies and the tofu. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes over medium to low heat for the flavors to combine and serve with a generous amount of nutritional yeast on top. We sprinkled some hemp seeds also on top and added a little Bragg’s… this is optional. Enjoy!
Now, I know it’s delicious and you’re loving it… but don’t stop reading just yet! Keep in mind that the combination of carbs such as pasta and dairy is, to the very least, not good for your body. Specially if made of acid cereals such as wheat. In Ayurveda this is considered a poisonous mix. Plus the butter… mmm… very, very little fiber, lots and lots of fat… on the other hand you have lots of protein, vegan protein that is so much easier for your body to digest and use, fiber, life energy, whole B vitamin combo, very little fat and you are respecting the appropriate food combination… OK, now keep enjoying!