Vegan Mac and Cheese 101

Happy Valentine’s Day! Even if you are alone today, make the most of it. Do something kind for yourself! Make time for you! Paint your toenails, take a nap, or make some vegan mac and cheese 😉

Vegan Mac and Cheese with Squash and Spinach

makes two servings

Ingredients:

2 servings of your pasta of choice

1/4 C Earth Balance

1/4 C Unsweetened Plain Soymilk

1 C Vegetable Broth

2Tbsp + 1 Tsp Flour

3/4 C Nutritional Yeast

1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder

1/4 Tsp Onion Powder

1/2 of a Yellow Squash, cut into cubes

1 C of Raw Spinach

Salt and Pepper, to taste

Boil water for your pasta, and cook according to package instructions. The choice of pasta shape is crucial here! You want to buy a shape that holds onto sauce really well. I usually use elbows, fusilli, or gobletti. While your water is boiling and your pasta is cooking, melt the Earth Balance in a sauce pan. In a small bowl, mix together flour and soymilk until all clumps are gone. Add to melted Earth Balance. Add the vegetable broth and stir well. Mix in nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and onion powder. Continue to stir occasionally as the sauce thickens. In a frying pan, saute cubed squash in olive oil until just cooked (the white middle will become translucent). Add spinach and continue to saute until spinach is lightly cooked. Once your sauce has reached desired thickness, pour in drained, cooked pasta and cooked veggies. Combine everything and enjoy!

[NOTE: If you have a lot of time or have anything against garlic powder or onion powder, put 2 cloves of garlic and a chopped half of an onion into a food processor and pulse until smooth. Add this before you add the flour soymilk mixture and saute on low heat for a few minutes. However, you will get better texture with the powder that the whole vegetables. ]

I am obsessed with this meal. I make it at least once a week, normally. I would advise not eating this if you have a date coming up, as it does have a lot of garlic and onion. However, sometimes you just have to make sacrifices 😉 This cheese sauce is creamy, gooey, and absolutely delicious over pasta and vegetables. It’s really good poured over broccoli, and makes a great addition to a creamy potato-based soup. I usually add in a little cayenne and salt and pepper to give this sauce some more pizzazz.

Memorize this recipe and use it often. And treat yourself to some as-good-as-the-real-thing vegan mac and cheese this V-day 🙂

the ultimate comfort food

Today was a day of ups and downs. I’ll start at the beginning. It has officially been two weeks since Mark left for Rome. I didn’t sleep well at all last night and I just really can’t believe it has only been two weeks. It feels like it’s been two months!! I thought that saying good bye to him would be the hardest part. Boy, was I wrong.

I really have been trying to look on the bright side of all this. This is an opportunity to figure out who I am without him around. It’s an opportunity to become closer with my friends and take advantage of all of my new found free time.

The thing is, I don’t want any of that. I was kidding myself to think that any of that was good for me. I know who I am without him around: Miserable. I don’t want to be closer with anyone. I have my best friend already and I don’t want to confide in anyone else. I completely changed my hair when he left, thinking it would be a fresh start. And I waited until he left, expressly because it was supposed to be for me, not for him. But all I wanted to do after getting it dyed and chopped to my shoulders was see him be excited about my hair. In person. I want to share absolutely everything about my days with him. And usually, that’s not so hard. But now, knowing that I may only get to talk to him for 15 minutes every day, I don’t necessarily get to tell him anything.

I know that I will probably wake up tomorrow with a fresh outlook and inspiration to face the world head-on. But right now, I just want to crawl up into a ball in my bed and sleep until May.

Of course, a mood like this calls for serious comfort food. All day, all I could think about was vegan mac & cheese, mac & cheeze, if you will. I unpacked my groceries and immediately started my cheeze sauce. I swear, cooking is the only time I feel sane.

As I poured the thick and creamy cheezy sauce over my macaroni, I felt just a little bit better. And let me tell you, I ate way too much mac and cheeze. My stomach still hurts five hours later. But really, it was so worth it.

Just look at all that creamy, gooey deliciousness. I really think it would make anyone feel better.

But here I am. The effects of my mac & cheeze have long worn off (minus the stomach ache…). I still need to send Mark my gratitude list for the day. Most days I don’t have too much trouble coming up with five things to be grateful for. Today, I can’t think of one. I know that I’m wallowing in self-pity and that I need to snap out of it. I’m just not quite ready yet.