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Vegan Basil Mac-N-Cheese with Roasted Tomatoes

What you need: 

Pasta:
1 pound macaroni
3 cups water for cooking vegetables (1 cup reserved for sauce)
1 large zucchini (about 2 cups), cubed
1 small onion (about 1 cup), cubed
2 medium potatoes (about 2 cups), cubed
12 to 14 fresh basil leaves
1 cup raw cashews
2 to 3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 cup unsweetened nondairy milk

Topping:
2 cups fresh bread crumbs
1 teaspoon kosher salt and black pepper
4 to 5 basil leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil Roasted Tomatoes:
16 ounces grape tomatoes
1 teaspoon olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

What you do: 

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Cook pasta as directed until al dente in salted water, and drain. In a medium sauce pan, add 3 cups water, onions, potatoes, and zucchini and boil until potatoes are tender.
2. In a high powered blender, add basil, cashews, garlic, lemon juice, and salt. Strain the boiled veggies (reserving 1 cup of the liquid), and add the veggies to the blender. Lastly, add the milk and veggie water to the blender as well, and blend on high until very smooth.
3. For the topping, I suggest you make your own breadcrumbs by cubing some stale or day-old french bread and pulsing in a food processor, then add the salt, pepper, and basil to the processor. Turn on and stream in the tablespoon olive oil for a few seconds, until well coated and mixed.
4. For the roasted tomatoes, put all of the ingredients into a baking pan and toss around until tomatoes are well coated. Bake for about 20 minutes. They should be slightly browned and burst open when done. Turn oven down to 375 degrees F.
5, Pour the sauce into a 9x13" casserole dish, then add the drained pasta. Mix until well combined. Sprinkle bread crumb topping evenly over pasta, and bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes. Add roasted tomatoes on top and serve warm.
Source of recipe: I wrote this recipe.

Preparation Time: 
10 minutes, Cooking time: 1 hour
Cooking Time: 
1 hour
Servings: 
1
Recipe Category: 

SO HOW'D IT GO?

Didn't have all the basil on hand but still had a great basil flavor. My omni family loved it. I think next time I will add broccoli or some other veggies because the sauce was so creamy, some broc would have been happy in there. I got requests to make it again after we finished it! And I will!

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Amazingly awesome!  Soy cheeses kill my stomach so this recipe is right up my alley.  I was craving a spicy mac so altered the ingredients somewhat, adding some chili seasonings, cayenne pepper, diced and jalapenos.  In addition I used the pasta water to cook the veggies plus I used some of the veggie water to create a creamy consistency when I blended the cashews.  Finally I added some nutritional yeast because it really creates a "cheesy" flavor I like.  The sauce was fine on its own, but I did make it much spicier than the original recipe. I didn't roast the tomatoes, just baked them with the bread crumbs for easy preparation--Like someone else posted, I also used Ian's bread crumbs, again because it's fast and still vegan.  Next time I’m going to make it without the extra spice and I’m sure it will be wonderful.

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<3 I loved this.

It's absolutely scary how CREAMY this sauce is, and it has such a wonderful flavour too :) I added a drizzle of rice bran oil as it was blending, because in the back of my head, any 'uncheese' sauce which involves mac, must contain fat for me, helps me with the mouthfeel.  I have a feeling that if I didn't add any oil, it would've had this creamy, velvety texture to it. No baking, just straight into a bowl, and also I didn't have any tomatoes, so I didn't do that step, next time I will remember the tomatoes. I have left over sauce and I plan of making a repeat batch of this tomorrow night, will probably bake it to see how it should be :) Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! :D

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:)>>> Made this last night with my non-vegan boyfriend. We loved it! We followed the recipe almost exactly, only adding a couple tbsp of nutritional yeast. We peeled the zucchini to cut down on the green, and also mixed in 1/4 jar of roasted red peppers and half of a fresh red bell pepper. We also added a bit more lemon juice. We topped with Ian's Italian Panko breadcrumbs (vegan) and also sprinkled paprika on top! No green after it was baked! Still, loved how green it was coming out of the blender. Love that this recipe has a lot of protein and full of nutrients! Win! We ate ours with hot sauce and a little bit of bourbon bbq sauce....best thing ever. I'll be eating lots of leftovers for lunch.

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Just as a side note. Ate the leftovers the next day. I had some extra sauce so we put it on baked potatoes. Soooooo good!

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So I've been meaning to make some sort of vegan mac and cheese for some time. . . just didn't have the tofu but I did have cashews! So I chose this recipe but was still kind of nervous since I have a nonvegan husband to please. I halved the recipe since it was just the two of us. Bad idea! Apparently he liked it so much, he put a big pile on his plate and had seconds too.

I didn't have unsweetened soymilk so I just used the plain one. Turned out ok. I did add maybe about 1/2 cup of nutritional yeast because after tasting it, it tasted too much like soymilk and not enough like cheese. The NY really helped the cheese flavor come out and also  made the color slightly more yellow. Oh yeah, and I peeled the zuccini so it wouldn't look so green.

Anyways, I'm thinking of putting some carrots in next time which might improve the color even more, and I'm all about veggies.

Topped it with store bought bread crumbs and paprika. My husband ate it with ketchup. I ate it with hot sauce. I will definitely be making this again!!!!  ;D

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Loved it! Was not hard to make and turned out great. I will  definitely be making this again soon. Next time I think I will add some cheyenne pepper to give it more of a kick. Thanks for posting!

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:)>>> Soooo stinkin' amazing!
So amazing in fact, that I still ate it, even after the casserole dish I baked it in broke in several different places, possibly shooting tiny shards of glass into the food....(don't worry, I just scooped out the middle and we were safe - but no left overs which was super disappointing)
I followed the recipe to a T, only adding some Daiya cheddar on top, underneath the breadcrumbs - which was a wonderful addition, but still would have been just as good without....I think I was even dreaming about this last night....
Can't wait to make it again!

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Great.
I realized at the last minute that I didn't have zucchini, so I just added a little more potato. I used chopped, seeded roma tomatoes instead of grape ones. I also added more lemon juice because I think it needed more tartness, and I skipped the crumb topping and didn't bake it (too impatient). I was surprised that there was no nutritional yeast in this recipe, and though it would have made it cheesier, it worked well without it and it's nice to have a nooch-free cheese recipe. Creamy and a little bit tangy.

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