I Can’t Believe it’s not Cheese!

We all love the familiarity of a creamy bowl of macaroni and cheese. There really is nothing quite like it. I’m not talking about those blue boxes of Kraft – I mean the real deal. So you can imagine my curiosity when I came across a vegan recipe for Macaroni and “Cheese” that claimed to be practically indistinguishable from the original.
I’m not a big fan of soy cheeses, but not neither is this recipe. It relies on two “secret” ingredients – ground cashews and nutritional yeast. The second one may have you running in terror, but consider the following: it is a pure, inactive strain of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae; the same used to brew beer and make wine. This ingredient is primarily used for its flavor, yet is also a great source of vitamin B12 for vegans. It is crucial to achieving the right taste in this dish, and it comes pretty darn close to mac and “cheese”
While this dish may sound complicated, it’s incredibly simple. The sauce is combined in a processor, then heated briefly before being added to the pasta. I’ll admit – I was apprehensive about the potential of this, but once again had surprised carnivores reaching for seconds. I can’t vouch for those who are enamored with the Kraft variety, but recommend this highly to anyone looking for a new twist on an American classic – click HERE to make this “cheesy” dish! I also made my favorite roasted cauliflower recipe (primarily to utilize my new lighting set!) which you can find the recipe for HERE.     
The “minimal” effort of this dish, and it subsequently rich flavor, led me to a lesser known category of classical music: the minimalists. Minimal music was a style that emerged in Western music around the mid-1900s. Terms to describe this style are conceptual, limited, continual, patterned, etc. I decided this dish’s pairing would be best with a composer who could appreciate its vegan qualities, so I went with self-ascribed vegetarian Philip Glass. To emphasize the depth of this simple dish, I went with his Song V from Songs and Poems for Solo Cello. Written between 2005 and 2007, this series was composed for acclaimed soloist Wendy Sutter (whose recording I’ve included below). While it’s a very “minimal” work, it is quite beautiful. Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cowfr10p-no

Sources Cited:
“Nutritional Yeast.” BestNaturalFoods.com 
“Minimal Music,” Wikipedia.com 

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One thought on “I Can’t Believe it’s not Cheese!

  1. I LOVE this recipe – totally delicious! And I am not usually a fan of ‘faux cheese” dishes (nor am I a vegan). I added my own variation – baking it with a whole-wheat panko crumb topping – highly recommend!

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