Healthy Hypocrite is proud and pleased to announce that I am participating in a virtual vegan potluck that connects like-minded foodies and bloggers for a worldwide eating and drinking celebration. This post is my contribution to that event.
Let’s get right into it, shall we? Oh, and please read through the entire recipe before you start to prepare (it’s not organized as well as I’d like–never enough time!) so you won’t have any surprises.
This recipe is my loosely adapted version of the Adult Mac & Cheese from The Great Sage Restaurant in Clarksville, MD. We like it spicy around here, so consider yourself warned. Of course you can modify to suit your spice preference.
Start with the “cheese” sauce (which is a modified version of the Moxarella cheese recipe from Vedgedout):
1/4 Cup Raw cashews (soaked in water for several hours and then drained IF you don’t have a high speed blender–I soak them anyway)
1 Cup Hot water
2 Tbl + 1 tsp Tapioca flour (aka tapioca starch)
1 Tbl Extra virgin olive oil (optional-I use it)
1 Small garlic clove, minced (you’re going to need more garlic for the recipe, so mince it now too)
3/4 tsp Sea salt (feel free to use less if you’d prefer, there’s not more salt in the recipe so don’t worry)
1 tsp Fresh lemon juice
1/4 Cup nutritional yeast
Combine above ingredients and blend for about a minute. In a small saucepan, cook over medium high heat stirring constantly until the mixure begins to coagulate. Turn down to low and continue stirring until nice a thick and gooey like melted cheese. Remove from heat, set aside (taste test, by licking the spoon–hehe).
For the pasta:
1 16 oz. package Trader Joe’s Organic Brown Rice Penne Pasta (or pasta of your choice–rigatoni works great too!)
3/4-1 cup small broccoli florets
3/4-1 cup small cauliflower florets
Boil water for pasta in a large pot (I used a 5 qt pot). Add 1 tsp salt when it boils. Add pasta, stirring, bring back to a boil and cook pasta for 7 minutes, add broccoli and cauliflower and cook additional 3-4 minutes (please do not overcook). Drain. You’re going to use the same pot to saute the other veggies.
1 tsp olive oil (or a couple Tbl vegetable broth for sauteing)
3-6 cloves garlic, minced
1/3-1/2 medium onion, diced
3/4-1 cup diced zucchini
1/3-1/2 Cup fresh basil, chopped
1/4-1/2 cup sun dried tomato, chopped (soak in boiling water for a few minutes (I used the kind from Trader Joe’s that’s in oil, but would prefer not to in the future). Of course you can use fresh diced tomato also or in addition to the sun dried.
1 Cup kale, chopped (or substitute spinach)
1/2 Cup Seitan O’ Greatness, cubed (3/8″ ish) (optional, click for recipe, see photo below with addition link to my post on this)
2 fire roasted jalapenos , seeded & chopped [optional, or feel free to reduce amount or substitute peperoncinis or other roasted or fresh peppers–if you do use other peppers that are fresh/raw (I don’t recommend green bell peppers, trust me on this), add them with the zucchini and saute].
1 Cup coconut milk (I like the refrigerated one from Trader Joe’s)
1/2 – 1 Cup Trader Joe’s Vegan Mozzarella Style Shreds (optional, but highly recommended!)
Heat the olive oil (or vegetable broth, you may need to add more so you don’t burn or reduce heat) over medium (ish) heat and then add the onion and garlic and saute until the onion is almost transparent, a few minutes. Add the zucchini and saute a few more minutes (add the raw peppers if using).
Add the jalapenos, sun dried tomato, kale, Seitan and stir together. You may want to reduce the heat to low at this point. Add the basil, cheese sauce and coconut milk and mix well. Add the pasta mixture and coat with the sauce. Now, you can continue to heat this while stirring and eat right away, or you can bake in the oven like I did. If you are not going to bake, feel free to add the optional mozzarella shreds.
Here it is before baking:
Preheat oven to 350°. Put the pasta mixture into a baking dish (I used a 9’x13″ glass dish–you can use a casserole style too). Cover with foil (shiny side down, of course). Bake for 20 minutes or so. Remove foil, sprinkle with mozzarella shreds and bake for another 10 minutes or so.
Here it is right out of the oven:
Another glamour shot as I served it:
Here’s a photo of the fire roasted jalapenos before I removed the skin and chopped them. (I will add a post on how to do this later):
Here is what the Seitan O’ Greatness looks like when sliced off the log, before I cubed it:
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Click the images below to visit the previous and next posts for the Virtual Vegan Potluck: