Vegan Mac & Cheese

By Matt Props, Ninth Street Bakery vegan chef

(serves 6)
1/2 med Sweet Onion, minced
3 tbl Earth Balance or other Non-Dairy Margarine (optional. can use water for sauteing to avoid extra fat)
3 cups Non-Sweetened Almond Milk
1 tsp Agave Nectar
3 tbl Dijon Mustard
2 tsp Low-Sodium Tamari
2 tbl Rice Wine Vinegar
2 tsp Lemon Juice
5 tbl Garlic Powder
1 tsp Dill
1/2 tsp Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric
1/2 tsp Oregano
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1 Low-Sodium Vegetable Bouillon Cube (or 1/4 cup Veg Broth and an additional 1/4 Nutritional Yeast)
2 1/4 cups Nutritional Yeast
2 tbl Hot Sauce of choice (optional… but it really does wonders for the final outcome)

Heat saucepan over medium heat for about 4-5 min. Add minced onion and Earth-Balance (or water if substituting). Saute onions for a few min, until slightly golden brown. Add almond milk, stir well, then add all remaining ingredients except nutritional yeast. Whisk or stir well, then turn heat to high. Continue to whisk and cook on high until boil is reached. At this point add yeast, whisk quickly and vigorously until smooth. Once smooth, reduce heat to low and let simmer, stirring occasionally. Adjust seasonings to taste.
*this sauce is great on lots of other foods… steamed veggies, baked potatoes, sandwiches, etc.

1 box of your choice (I like the shells… seems to really soak up the sauce nicely). Cook according to directions, drain, then immediately plunge into large bowl of cold water. Leave in water until ready to use. Drain well, place in large bowl and toss with cheese sauce. At this point you have options… To do a rustic, southern style version place mixture in 9×5 dish (or larger), sprinkle with about 3/4 – 1 cup bread crumbs and bake at 400 degrees for about 10-12 minutes or until crusty around edges and golden brown on top. The other option is to return the mixture to your saucepan, cover and simmer over low heat until warm.
*to make this recipe gluten free simply use rice or quinoa pasta, avoid breadcrumbs and make sure any bouillon cubes or tamari you purchase is wheat free. i’ve made the gluten free version for friends and it was definitely as much of a success as the regular recipe.