So let me preface this post by saying that I have tried for quite some time to find a reasonable tasting 'cheese' sauce to make vegan macaroni and cheese. I've found recipes calling for tofu, I've found recipes calling for heaps of nutritional yeast flakes and flour, I've found recipes that call for copious amounts of mustard and it all tastes terrible. And even those in which the flavor is at least decent, it's nothing like cheese.
Today I was making lunch for the boys and this just came to me. It's so simple... this recipe surely must already exist but if it does I have never come across it in all my vegan cheese searches. AND IT ACTUALLY TASTED LIKE CHEESE!
I knew I had to do something with it this very night and so I settled on a version of one of Chris and my favorite dishes from our past life: Cheeseburger Hamburger Helper. How can you go wrong with ground meat, noodles, and cheese??
Bacon Cheeseburger Macaroni
1 Tbl olive oil
1 lb lean ground turkey
2 cloves garlic, minced
a few dashes of Lea & Perrin's Worcestershire Sauce (optional)
3/4 cup unsweetened plain almond milk
3 Tbl Soy Free Earth Balance Buttery Spread
1 cup Daiya Cheddar Shreds (plus more for topping)
1 tsp sea salt
a dash of turmeric (optional, mainly just for color)
3 tsp nutritional yeast flakes
1 Tbl cornstarch + 2 Tbl cold water, mixed until there are no lumps
12 oz cooked corn pasta elbows, spirals, or shells
2 slices Food For Life White Rye bread
1/8 tsp sea salt
2 slices turkey bacon, sliced into pieces
Pre Heat oven to 350.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil. Add onions and garlic and saute until onion is transparent, about 3 minutes. Add turkey and Worcestershire sauce, if using, and brown about 6-7 minutes. Remove from heat. Drain if excess fluid remains, though with lean turkey there really shouldn't be much.
Meanwhile in a small sauce pan, heat butter and almond milk over medium heat until steaming and butter is completely melted. Add Daiya and stir frequently until shreds are almost all melted. Add salt, turmeric, and nutritional yeast and stir well. Slowly stir in cornstarch/water mixture and continue to stir until cheese sauce has thickened.
Pour the cheese sauce into the skillet and stir until the turkey and cheese are mixed well. Add pasta and toss to coat everything evenly.
Pour the pasta mixture into a large casserole dish. Set aside.
In a blender or food processor, process bread slices and salt into bread crumbs. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top of pasta mixture, then top with a small handful of Daiya Cheddar Shreds and turkey bacon pieces.
Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until turkey bacon is crisp and bread crumbs are toasted. Cool 5 minutes before serving.