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Baked Dairy-Free Macaroni & Cheese

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Baked Dairy-Free Macaroni & Cheese

This is vegan macaroni and cheese at its best.

© 2009 Ashley Skabar, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Who ever said macaroni and cheese is just for kids? This macaroni and cheese bake is simple to prepare and dressed to impress even for adult tastes. Add chopped prosciutto for an extra kick, or garnish with lightly steamed greens.

Serves 4

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. elbow or bowtie pasta
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • ½ t . powdered garlic
  • 1 t .sea salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 4 T. plus 1 t. olive oil
  • ½ cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 3/4 cups unsweetened soymilk
  • 1/3 cup finely ground cashews
  • 3 T. tahini paste
  • ½ cup fresh bread crumbs, made from day-old bread
  • ¼ cup raw sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds (optional)
  • Cayenne pepper or black pepper, to taste

Preparation:

1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Oil four individual soufflé dishes, two 14 oz gratin dishes or other ovenproof casserole dishes.

2. Boil 2 ½ quarts water in a medium-sized saucepan.Add pasta to boiling water. Boil until tender, about 7 minutes, or until al dente. Drain in a colander and set aside.

3. Meanwhile, combine the flour, nutritional yeast, powdered garlic and sea salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

4. Using a small saucepan, heat the 4 T olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions to the hot oil, and, stirring constantly, cook for about 4 minutes, or until onions are translucent.

5. Add the dry mixture to the pan, stirring constantly with a wire whisk to avoid burning the flour. (The mixture will seem dry at first, but will soon soak up the oil and liquid from the onions.)

6. Sirring constantly, gradually add the soymilk, about ¼ cup at a time until the mixture is a thick, but not too thick, consistency. Add the ground cashews and tahini paste. Add salt to taste, and, if your sauce is too thick, add a bit more soymilk. Turn off heat.

7. Add the pasta to the saucepan, mixing well. Portion the pasta and sauce into the prepared dishes.

8. Make the topping. Combine the bread crumbs, sunflower seeds and remaining 1 t. olive oil in a small bowl. Sprinkle over pasta. Season with salt and pepper, and bake for 35 minutes or until top is golden brown. Serve hot.

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