Never Too Late to Go Vegan

The Over-50 Guide to Adopting and Thriving on a Plant-Based Diet

Slow-Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

Pat Spradley1 Comment

by Carol J. Adams

photo credit: Matt Halteman

photo credit: Matt Halteman

This is the best macaroni and cheese recipe in the world. Well, this may be a little overstatement, but it was taste-tested by a group of international visitors to Dallas last month, and they all claimed it to be so. The meal that evening included barbecued tofu, tempeh, and seitan, spicy beans, cole slaw, two kinds of cornbread, braised greens, AND the mac and cheese. By the end of the evening, this container (see how large it is?), was almost empty. And there were only ten people at dinner!

Everyone asked me for the recipe, so I thought I would share it with you too! I veganized a mac and cheese recipe from Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Recipes for Two by Beth Hensperger. 

Ingredients:

½ pound elbow macaroni or mini penne tubes
½ to 1 cup of cashews soaked for 6-8 hours and then drained (not necessary to soak if you have a high-speed blender)
1 ½ cups water
One 14-ounce can of coconut milk
8 to 10 ounces of silken tofu
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 cloves garlic 
½ teaspoon turmeric
¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne
¼ to ½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
½ cup nutritional yeast
1 bag Daiya mozzarella shredded cheese
1 bag Daiya cheddar shredded cheese
1 head of kale, washed, destemmed, and shredded or a bag or two of Trader      Joe’s baby kale
 

1)    Cook the macaroni or penne according to package directions until al dente.  (I used whole wheat macaroni). After draining it, place in a large mixing bowl.
2)    Blend the cashews in a high speed or regular blender with the 1 ½ cups of water.
3)    Add the coconut milk, silken tofu, Dijon mustard, garlic, spices, salt and pepper to the cashew milk and thoroughly blend together.
4)    Add the blender ingredients to the cooked pasta. 
5)    Add the shredded or baby kale (lots!), the two bags of Daiya cheese, and the nutritional yeast.
6)    Spray the bottom and side of the inside of the slow cooker with nonstick vegetable spray. 
7)    Put the macaroni and cheese mixture in the slow cooker. If you were tempted to add more than 8 ounces of macaroni, add some unsweetened soy milk if it looks too dry. 
8)    Cover and cook on high for at least 30 minutes. I actually put this on high for 90 minutes because it was such a large amount (I had used more pasta probably 11 ounces uncooked would be my guess). Then put on low till macaroni and cheese looks like the photo, which is probably another two or two and a half hours.

Note: you could easily use just 1/2 a bag of each of the Daiya cheeses and low fat coconut milk if you wish.