My Macaroni and Cheese Addiction

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It’s Macaroni and Cheese Monday for Vegan MoFo Day 8!

Before going vegan, I was a complete macaroni and cheese addict.  Actually, let’s be honest.  I”m still an addict, I just don’t indulge anymore.  I can remember my last bite!  What I was addicted to?  The blue box Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.  I really loved the shapes, and I also enjoyed the Alfredo flavor.

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I must have eaten hundreds of boxes of the stuff over the years.  I would go grocery shopping, and my basket would always have at least 5 boxes.  Each week.  I also enjoyed Annie’s Organic version too.

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To this day I still crave the deliciousness of that box macaroni and cheese.  Since going vegan, I have been on a never ending quest for the best tasting vegan macaroni and cheese.  I have tried all sorts of recipes.  Simple ones, low fat ones, ones full of fat, ones including turmeric, some including tomato paste, a recipe that had pumpkin, and a recipe that used sweet potatoes!

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Happy Herbivore has a great Soy-Free Macaroni and Cheese that is low in fat.  I don’t have any pictures of this one, but it had a good flavor.  There are a couple variations of this recipe in “The Happy Herbivore Cookbook” that are also low fat.  “Everyday Happy Herbivore” has a good simple cheese sauce that has tomato sauce in the recipe and can be used on more than just pasta.

My favorite, though, from the Happy Herbivore series, is the Skinny Mac ‘N’ Cheese from “Happy Herbivore Light and Lean”.  This sauce uses pumpkin, and it’s absolutely amazing!  I think this is the best low fat macaroni and cheese recipe so I would check it out if you are trying to limit your fat intake.

As much as I love the cheese sauces from Happy Herbivore, they still didn’t quite hit the spot.  I thought I would try some recipes that have a bit of fat in them, since the real deal was chock full of fat.  I tried a few recipes from Chef Chloe.  I thought her Vegan Mac ‘N’ Cheese was pretty close to the real thing!  It was creamy and tasty.  It was still missing the tanginess that the blue box macaroni and cheese has.

I spent almost a year looking for that perfect recipe.  At some point, I gave up.  I began to look for something that would replace my love for the blue box.  Something that was… better!  And I found it in Chef Chloe’s Sweet Potato Mac ‘N’ Cheese:

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This sauce is made with sweet potatoes, milk (I used almond), soy sauce, lime juice, garlic, and rosemary!  There is absolutely no nutritional yeast!  This was a macaroni and cheese recipe that… wasn’t trying to be macaroni and cheese!  I loved it.  If you’ve never made it, I seriously suggest that you try it sometime.  I eat it all the time now, and can’t get enough of it.

So I had found my replacement.  I gave up on trying to find to find that perfect sauce.  I also craved the real thing less and less.  Until…

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Yup, that’s right.  It’s the Earth Balance Vegan Macaroni and Cheese everyone has been talking about all summer!  I finally found myself a box, and I even held out for Monday to try it.  So tonight I made it for dinner.

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The directions are right on the back of the box.  Opening it up, it felt like old times.  Pasta in the box, with a dry “cheese” packet.  Opening it up, it is orange like the Kraft kind!  Not quite the same color, but it’s there.  It also smelled pretty interesting.

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The pasta cooked for a bit over 10 minutes, was drained, and earth balance, almond milk, and sauce packet added.  I know there is some debate out there about what kind of milk to use.  I found a long time ago that almond milk makes the best fake cheese sauces.  Soy milk is just a bit too sweet for me, even if I tried unsweetened.

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Once mixed it looked a lot like the real stuff.  I remember it being more orange, but it’s been a long time since I’ve made it.  I used to eat these boxes in one sitting, but I found that I didn’t want to eat the whole box.  I added vegetables to my meal to make it healthier, since the pasta itself isn’t the healthiest.

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And there it is!  When I finally tried it, it hit the spot!  I enjoyed every bite of this macaroni and cheese.  I think this is the closest I’ve had to the real thing yet.  I encourage you to try it if you haven’t had it yet.  I guess there is a lot of varying opinion on it, but I give it two thumbs up!  Nice job Earth Balance!

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I’ll do everything I can to keep this from turning into an addiction, since it is made with 2 tablespoons of Earth Balance.  It’s not low fat, but it is an excellent treat every once in a while!

I hope you enjoyed this rendition of Macaroni and Cheese Monday.  I’m going to search blogs now for my next cheezy recipe!

Until next time!

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11 responses to “My Macaroni and Cheese Addiction

  1. A MoFo-er after my own cheesy heart! You have inspired me to not give up…the perfect vegan mac-n-cheese is out there! (side note: you have also inspired me to eat that Earth Balance boxed mac-n-cheese for dinner tonight…mmmmmm)

  2. I was wondering if the Earth Balance was any good or not. Like you said, still not healthy, but if my kids are asking for it, it’s good to know this one tastes similar to the Kraft they also crave. My fave vegan recipe uses butternut squash…probably similar to the pumpkin recipe you mentioned. I can’t recall of the top of my head where I found it…the original recipe actually used potatoes, but when I made it all I had was butternut squash, so I swapped it out and it worked perfectly!

    • I definitely think your kids will love this! Interesting switch with the butternut for potoato. The only butternut recipe I’ve made is a Butternut Alfredo from Isa Chandra. Good stuff!

  3. Thanks for the suggestions of sauces to try, and recommendation of almond milk as best plant milk to use. I had wondered that. And now that you’ve recommended it, I just MIGHT have to try the Earth Balance boxed mac and cheese to see what I think. I’m thinkin’ I might sprinkle a tad bit of turmeric in mine, to put a little color in it! Just a smidge might make it more appealing/cheesy to my eyes without changing the flavor. Or maybe it WOULD ruin it. Not sure, but might experiment with a small portion.

  4. Pingback: Vegan Velveeta Shells and Cheese | Evolution of Jill·

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