cauli’ mac: adapting the veg news mac n’ cheeze

18 Oct

I assume at this point most people who care about vegan mac and cheeze have at least heard of the Veg News Mac and Cheeze.  It’s one of very few nutritional yeast free cheeze sauces I’ve ever seen, and in my opinion, it’s one of the best cheeze sauces period.

Well, last night I had a hankering for some creamy, comforty mac and cheeze, but I was sans potatoes.  What I did have was a head of cauliflower.  I thought about how often people use cauliflower as a substitute for mashed potatoes, and it all became clear.  Clouds parted, angels sang.  It was good times.

Happily, it tastes just as good as it would with potatoes.  Though, I dare say it is slightly less photogenic.

I think a combo of cauliflower and potato would be a nice compromise and add some smoothness back to the sauce.

Adding cauliflower was a new trick, but there are a few deviations I make from the recipe every time.

1.  I always use significantly less Earth Balance.  It calls for a lot, and I’d sooner up the cashews than use that much EB.

2.  I double the sauce.  Mama likes the sauce.

3.  I use apple cider vinegar instead of lemon juice.  I do this in every vegan cheese recipe that calls for lemon juice.  It adds the same kind of tang without imparting a strong flavor.  CHEESE ISN’T SUPPOSED TASTE LIKE LEMON.

The Veg News Mac is tied as my favorite vegan mac along with the recipe from Vegan Yum Yum.  The nooch + onion powder sauces just don’t do it for me, and even if I thought Daiya tasted good (I don’t) it makes me feel ill.

Did I offend you with my Daiya hate?  Do you have a favorite vegan mac?  Or, do you avoid it altogether?


19 Responses to “cauli’ mac: adapting the veg news mac n’ cheeze”

  1. Kelly 10.18.2011 at 2:03 PM #

    I don’t really like Daiya, either – I think it tastes a little plastic-y, and it’s way too fat-laden for me. If I eat more than a small sprinkling, I feel sick.

    I’m working on a mac & cheese recipe showdown post, so I just tried the VegNews recipe. I felt like I had to be true to the original recipe, though, so I put in all the Earth Balance and it was way too much for me. 😦

    • corrinadarling 10.18.2011 at 2:10 PM #

      I made it true to recipe the first time, too. I enjoyed it way less. The EB was all you could taste. I usually cut it by at least half (I don’t really measure out stuff for this recipe anymore). I also cut down on the amount of breadcrumbs or it’s just too dry. AND, I forgot to mention in the post, I add a little paprika to the sauce. Just on top is not enough paprika.

      • Kelly 10.18.2011 at 2:36 PM #

        Oh yeah, I also noticed the overwhelming breadcrumbs – I thought it was because I’d used some big slices of bread! 🙂

    • corrinadarling 10.19.2011 at 7:16 AM #

      also, i’m totally excited for this showdown!

  2. Richa@HobbyandMore 10.18.2011 at 4:10 PM #

    That actually looks good.i like cauliflower for creaminess. and i dont much like daiya either.. it works some days, and doesnt some other days.

    I passed on the Liebster blog award to you! Pick it up on Hobby And More Food Blog

    • corrinadarling 10.19.2011 at 7:19 AM #

      Thank you kindly! It did taste pretty creamy, but I think it looks smoother with a little potato thrown in.

  3. Cara 10.18.2011 at 6:57 PM #

    BIG fan of Vegan Yum Yum’s mac and cheese!!! And I’m with you on Daiya–the only thing I have tried that it tasted good to me was in homemade Cheez-Its and I took my MIL’s amazing and all-time favorite mac n cheese recipe and converted it. That’s about it. I love the idea of using cauliflower too–a must try at the next mac attempt…

    • corrinadarling 10.19.2011 at 8:32 AM #

      Mac n Cheese high five! I can see Daiya tasting good baked into things, but at that point I’d prob default to Follow Your Heart since it doesn’t make me sick and they taste pretty similar (imo).

      • Cara 10.19.2011 at 2:00 PM #

        Praytell, what is Follow Your Heart???

      • corrinadarling 10.21.2011 at 3:12 AM #

        ah, follow your heart is the company that does vegan gourmet cheese. it was, as far as i know, the most popular store bought vegan cheese in the US about 5 years ago, now there are a lot more competitive options.

  4. Kristen 10.18.2011 at 7:20 PM #

    Usually when recipes call for Daiya, I leave it out. But for mac&cheeze, that’s hard to do. So I don’t make it very often. But then I crave it. It’s a vicious cycle. I was unaware of this Veg News version – I’m exctied to try it, and with your cauilflower version to make it more carb friendly – perfect!

    • corrinadarling 10.19.2011 at 7:57 AM #

      Yeah, it kind of makes me upset how many recipes I see calling for Daiya or other store bought vegan cheese. Generally, I’ve been happier with homemade cheeze options because even though it might not resemble cheese as closely it tastes more like real food. That said, I do think this recipe channels Stouffers style baked mac and cheese dinners more than any other version I’ve had.

  5. choirqueer 10.19.2011 at 3:36 PM #

    Wow! I hadn’t actually seen that Mac’n’Cheeze recipe before. I’m not really a huge mac’n’cheese fan, but I can rarely resist the temptation to try recipes for it. I’ll have to take this one for a spin!

    • corrinadarling 10.21.2011 at 3:17 AM #

      do try it! if it makes it more appealing, add some peas and call it a pasta bake instead!

  6. Micah Ludeke 10.20.2011 at 4:53 AM #

    Holy buckets- that looks so amazing! You are a genius. And agreed, cheese isn’t supposed to taste like lemon. Good call on the cider vinegar!

    • corrinadarling 10.21.2011 at 3:19 AM #

      thank you. i appreciate the agreement on the lemon issue. it’s one of those things i get irrationally wound up about. like cinnamon in brownies. it just ain’t right.

  7. Bazu 10.21.2011 at 7:48 AM #

    I live The Farm one (adapted with less fat) so much that I’ve never even made another mac and cheese. Oh so retro!

    • corrinadarling 10.21.2011 at 9:43 AM #

      i cannot remember if i’ve had that one or not. i know i’ve at least considered it. i feel like it would taste good, but i’d miss the tang (har, har).

  8. Bazu 10.21.2011 at 7:49 AM #

    Live? I meant love. Jesus.

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