Healthy Comfort Food: Vegan Mac and Cheese

43 comments

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I have been wanting to make Fat Free Vegan’s Easy Macaroni and Cheeze for a long time. I finally got to the bulk store and remembered to buy nutritional yeast. I have been looking forward to trying nutritional yeast ever since I heard about its’ nutritional benefits and cheese and nutty-like taste! Seems too good to be true, right?

Here are some of the benefits of nutritional yeast:

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  • very rich in B vitamins- great for vegetarians/vegans!
  • Yellowish colour comes from the concentration of the B vitamin Riboflavin
  • Rich in vitamins niacin, thiamin, biotin, and folic acid
  • Rich in minerals selenium, chromium, zinc, phosphorus, and magnesium
  • Can be used as a supplement or condiment
  • Can be sprinkled on cereal, spaghetti, popcorn, and smoothies (note: huge foreshadowing for tomorrow AM!)
  • Two teaspoons (10 mL) of yeast flakes provide one microgram of vitamin B12, the recommended daily intake for most adults!!

Source

I am seriously kicking myself for not trying this sooner! Especially after the outstanding results I had making this super easy vegan mac and cheese. For some reason I thought this recipe was going to be difficult, but all you have to do is cook the pasta and then take ALL the ingredients and throw into a blender or processor. Then heat it all up and stir. It was that easy!!

Vegan Mac and Cheese

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I adapted the recipe based on what ingredients I had on hand and it surprisingly still came out stellar!

My version with tweaks below.

Ingredients:

1 pound vegan pasta (or regular if you prefer!)
1 1/4 cups water
1 cup plain Almond Breeze (may use other non-dairy milk)
3/4 cup nutritional yeast
3 tablespoons cornstarch or potato starch
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon garlic puree
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon turmeric (curry powder)
1 tablespoons tahini
black pepper to taste

Directions:

Cook your preferred pasta according to the directions on the bag or box. I used pasta shells for a fun change. It brought me back to the wonderful Velveeta pasta my mom used to make us as kids! While that is cooking, throw ALL ingredients (including 1 + 1/4 cup water) into the food processor or blender and blend for 30-60 seconds. Once pasta is cooked and drained, add sauce into sauce pan with pasta shells and simmer over low-medium heat stirring frequently. The thickening process takes 5-10 minutes. Don’t despair if you think the pasta is too watery- it REALLY thickens up nicely thanks to the cornstarch! Serves 8. You can get creative with this and mix in some vegetables or spinach too.

According to Fat Free Vegan’s recipe:

Makes 8 servings. Per serving: 303 Calories (kcal); 4g Total Fat; (10% calories from fat); 15g Protein; 54g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 316mg Sodium; 5g Fiber. Also, if you use nutritional yeast fortified with B-12, one serving provides 100% of the daily requirement of that vitamin.

Hers + His:

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I had to make Eric’s fun to distract him from the fact that he was eating cheese less pasta! lol. Well, I did sprinkle on some parmesan and threw in a cheeseslice for him to be fair. :)

The taste?

It knocked both our socks off- even with a bunch of modifications! I honestly can’t believe that it tasted that good. It was cheesey and nutty tasting. Next time I will definitely add spinach or peas to it. So awesome. I will be buying nutritional yeast on a regular basis now- WOW!!!

Look how creamy that is!!!!

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GAH! :D It was the perfect comfort food today for a post-night of drinking and dreary weather outside!

fitness thumb9   Healthy Comfort Food: Vegan Mac and Cheese I wasn’t planning on working out today due to only getting 4.5 hours of sleep last night after the crazy bachelorette party, but for whatever reason I am not tired at all today. Not even one bit. It’s strange! I have a feeling I am going to crash tonight! It must have been my handy Hangover Prevention Kit (HPK) not to be confused with an EPT. ;)

The workout:

  • Duration: 52 mins (including water breaks- always)
  • Speed: 3.9 mph, incline 15%
  • Max heart rate: 165 bpm
  • Avg heart rate: 146 bpm
  • Feel the burn: 450 kcals
  • Distance: 3.19 miles

It felt so good! Even though I sometimes don’t feel like working out after a late night it always makes me feel back on track and in my normal routine.

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Eric finished all the sanding and is now on coat 2 of the primer in the dining room, family room, and sunroom. Things are shaping up! We will be painting COLOUR on the wall this week! I can’t believe it!!! :)

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The sunroom is going to be Ashley Gray to coordinate with the mortar in the brick. We are turning the sunroom officially into a workout room. We will eventually be putting in a gym floor in there.

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For the family room we chose Peanut Shell. It will go nicely with the brick colours!

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I can’t wait to have the walls painted! It will be coming together soon enough. :) After the paint, we are putting in engineered wood floors.

Well, back to normal Sunday stuff- laundry, cleaning, organizing, and preparing for the week ahead! Have a great end to your Mother’s Day!

Coming up tomorrow:

  • Cookbook giveaway
  • Shop 4 A Cause: When, What, Where, How, etc
  • Spirulina
  • and more!

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Tonight’s question: What’s your favourite way to eat mac and cheese?

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{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

*Andrea* May 10, 2009

ohhhhhhhhhhh my god!!!!! that looks so decadent!!! my mom makes the best baked macaroni and cheese but i try not to eat it a lot since it has so much butter, cheese and fatty goodness lol. i will try this version for sure!

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Bec May 10, 2009

thanks for the nutritional yeast review, Ive always been too scared to try it but I will definitely have to now! The ceilings in that room are gorgeous as well!

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Jennifer @ His N' Her Health May 10, 2009

That looks so good! I would have never thought to use nutritional yeast. I have some but I never know what to put it on besides popcorn! I will have to try this!

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Lindsay May 10, 2009

i lived with a vegan for a while and was so annoyed by his constant yammering about nutritional yeast. maybe enough time has passed, or your mac and cheese just looks so good, but now i want to try it!

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emily May 10, 2009

That vegan mac looks crazy good! I’ve been wanting to try that forever but we are currently without blender or food processer. I love seeing the house pictures, it looks like you have a gorgeous home!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) May 10, 2009

Emily- you could probably use a hand mixer too! :) I can’t see why not!

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girlrunningaround May 10, 2009

Love the idea of a workout room! Hubby and I have a third bedroom that is above our garage that we’re contemplating turning into a gym and putting in a gym floor. I’m excited to see what options there are out there.

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Christina May 10, 2009

Wow that mac & cheese looks so good and creamy! My favorite way to have it is with spinach – I actually had some two nights ago. Definitely a good comfort meal!

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Shelby May 10, 2009

I loooove Nutritional Yeast…or as the cool kids call it Nooch =)

Now I have to try that recipe, I can’t believe I haven’t already!

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Marisa(Trim The Fat) May 10, 2009

I love nutritional yeast! It’s amazing how cheesey tasting it is! I learned a lot about it when my little daughter was diagnosed with a milk protein allergy. I used to make mac and cheeze all the time for her, but I used the box version made my Roads End Organics called Chreeze. The nutritional yeast comes in a packet, so it’s very user-friendly!

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Heather May 10, 2009

Wow, this looks so good! And such a healthy way to enjoy mac and cheese! I’m totally going to have to try this out.

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Priyanka May 10, 2009

Wow this recipe looks so good and thanks for the info on Nutritional yeast!

Just curious,long back you posted about your Mom’s erratic HRM, how is that working now?

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Jen May 10, 2009

Wait a minute…did I read that recipe right? I didn’t see cheese anywhere on the ingredient list. If it’s truly cheese free, I will absolutely have to try it someday – my tummy doesn’t do cheese (my life is very sad, lol) and I love m&c (and miss it so dearly) so this recipe could be my new best friend!

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Erin May 10, 2009

My fav way is Annie’s whole wheat max n chz with extra cheese added in, + brocs, peas, peppers.

I like to jazz it up.

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Brianne May 10, 2009

I sure hope your using low or no VOC paint! Regular paint is extremely bad for both you and the environment! :)

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Elizabeth May 10, 2009

Wow that mac n’ cheese looks so good! I noticed how creamy it is right away!

I love what youre doing with your place..those colors will look so good~

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Hallie May 11, 2009

I don’t like cheese…so my favorite way to eat mac n cheese is to replace the cheese sauce with marinara…oh and swap penne for the macaroni, thanks :-D

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Mimi (Damn the Freshman 15) May 11, 2009

YUM!

I will have to get some nutritional yeast. It seems so versatile!

My mom used to always make cheesy spaghetti, which was basically baked mac n’ cheese. SO delicious, so bad for you. Alas!

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Leah @ Simply Fabulous Now May 11, 2009

Looks amazing!!
I will have to look for yeast in the stores.. surely I can find some! Glad Eric is loving the creations! haha

Your house is coming along.. must feel great!!

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Jessica May 11, 2009

That vegan mac n’ cheese looks and sounds AMAZING Angela!! Ahhh, once I can snag all the ingredients needed for the dish I’ll be making it very, very soon!

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gliding calm May 11, 2009

how scrumptious does your mac and cheeez look! amazing! glad to know that Eric liked it too!!!

i love seeing the changes you’ve been making to your beautiful house!! it will look AMAZING when it’s all done! (it already does!)

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Lindsay May 11, 2009

That mac and cheese looks yummy, I would only be afraid that there wouldn’t be a ‘cheese’ taste, I might have to try it doctored like Eric’s mac.

My favorite way to have mac and cheese is Annie’s white cheddar shells with tomatoes and fresh basil and red pepper flakes and lots of black pepper (and sometimes a slice of Kraft American).

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e May 11, 2009

Can’t wait to see before/after pics of your in-laws old home turned into your new home. Both have great taste. Also, I have nutritional yeast but mine is in a very fine powder form and yours looks dif in pic up above?

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Victoria May 11, 2009

Wow. That does indeed look very creamy. Thanks for the recipe.

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Mara @ What's For Dinner? May 11, 2009

I have loved almost every recipe I’ve ever made from Fat-Free Vegan!! This stuff looks amazing! I can’t WAIT to see the house finished!

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amy (veganissexy) May 11, 2009

OMG how have I never tried Susan’s recipe!!! Aaaaah I’m going to have to make that this week! I love her stuff. We use a lot of nutritional yeast in our house….I put it on veggies a lot…especially broccoli. I bet that sauce would be stellar on some steamed veggies :) I’m loving the paint colors you chose. That light grey will look fabulous :)

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Nadia May 11, 2009

The mac & “cheese” looks delicious, but what exactly is nutritional yeast? I’ve heard about it, but never actually tried it. Is it a variation of baking yeast (the kind that you use to make bread)?

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Sanja May 11, 2009

If you google ‘Get sconed: new farm mac and cheese’ you’ll find another great recipe for vegan mac & cheese (I actually like it better than Susan’s…).

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Katrina (gluten free gidget) August 7, 2009

This recipe is unbelievably delicious! Check out my variation: http://glutenfreegidget.blogspot.com/2009/08/big-cheeze.html

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Sarah September 4, 2009

You inspired me to try this! I love Fat Free Vegan blog, but sometimes her recipes are a total miss. This one was EXCELLENT! I used whole wheat pasta, and stirred in some spinach. Yum!

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Amy January 25, 2010

What are you considering a serving here? Does it break down to be a 1/2 cup or cup per serving?

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Amy January 25, 2010

Oops I left you the wrong email address, this one is corrected :) thanks!

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Lauren April 10, 2010

I made the vegan mac and cheese the other day and my whole family loved it. None of us are vegan, but I often choose to eat that way (often, but not always). My dad is a huge meat and potatoes guy and when he asked to try some, I was like ‘um, okay…it’s not real cheese though. You might not like it.” He took a bite, looked at me very matter of factly and said “what’s not to like?” SUCCESS!

For lunch today I mixed the “cheese” with marinara sauce and made a cheesy, tomato-ey dish that reminded me of my childhood. It was sooooooooo amazing! The empty bowl next to me keeps asking for seconds.

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Lauren (Lauren Loves Good Food) June 24, 2010

Angela, I made these tonight for dinner and totally botched it. Is the 1 1/4 cup water part of the sauce? I thought you meant to use the water to cook the noodles, but my sauce was really thick and sticky. It didn’t look creamy like yours :(

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 24, 2010

Hey Lauren! Yes the 1 1/4 cup water is part of the sauce…sorry if that wasnt clear!!! =(

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Lauren (Lauren Loves Good Food) June 25, 2010

Then I’ll just have to try it again! :)

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Quinn September 19, 2010

What do you recommend as a substitute for tahini in this recipe? I have a bit of an allergy to sesame seeds, but want to try this recipe!

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Danielle October 26, 2010

Quinn,

I’ve used peanut butter before in replacement of tahini. I used unsweetened all natural peanut butter and it was not exact but still good.

:)

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Emma Milligen January 30, 2013

I am so excited about this! I am going to make this one for my next ‘in bulk’ meal (my last one was your vegan enchiladas, and they were FAB). I am SO STOKED that I don’t need to process any nuts for this, as I feel it just seems too decadent for a ‘healthier’ version- even though nuts are good for you. It just breaks the calorie bank! Thanks for this delicious and nutritious looking alternative!

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Jul February 10, 2013

I added hot sauce to your mac n cheese recipe and it rounded the the flavors perfectly! Thanks!

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Faith VanderMolen September 12, 2013

I’ve recently gone vegan and I’ve been hesitant to try out nutritional yeast, even though its been in my cupboard for a couple weeks. This was the first recipe I made with nutritional yeast and I thought it was great! I’m gonna start trying out lots more recipes with it now! Thanks:)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 13, 2013

It took me a while to get used to the flavour but now I love it. A little goes a long way!

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Susette December 17, 2013

I am not a vegan, but have been trying to substitute vegan options for my favorite non-vegan comfort foods. Since regular mac and cheese is too unhealthy, I wanted to try a vegan version. I only clarify this because my review isn’t positive, and I’m wondering if it’s because I’m not at all used to “cheese alternatives?”

I made this recipe exactly as stated (except for the pasta), and wasn’t pleased with the results. It was edible for me (not good), but my family wouldn’t even eat it. I thought the flavor was pretty bland and it tasted like watered down nutritional yeast. It got nice and creamy, but when I left it on the stove on “low” for 5 extra minutes to warm up, it got super thick and the sauce dried out.

One thing I wasn’t sure about, which might be the reason mine wasn’t very good, is the type of tahini. There is the sesami tahini in a jar that is sold non-refrigerated, and the Middle Eastern tahini sauce that is refrigerated and tastes COMPLETELY different. I used the sesame tahini — was that right? I also used 100% whole wheat elbow pasta, so maybe the whole wheat was a bad option.

Thank you for your post and beautiful photos, and I’m glad so many others enjoyed this. It just didn’t work for me.

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