Wednesday, April 6, 2011

You-can't-screw-it-up Mac n Cheese

Every time I make this delicious meal, it's always a little different. Sometimes I'll add a different vegetable.. sometimes I'll add extra spices.. sometimes I'll make it Mexican-style.. sometimes the original broccoli and pasta version hits the spot.

Either way, try not to eat the entire pan!


I know my pictures aren't the fanciest.. but the food is definitely the yummiest. I promise.


2 c macaroni, your choice
2 c sliced broccoli

1/2 c margarine

1/2 c flour

2 3/4 c boiling water (it is important to start this boiling before you begin)
1-2 t salt
2 T soy sauce
1 1/2 t garlic powder
dash turmeric
dash paprika
1 c nutritional yeast flakes

3/4 c tvp
1 can rotel (mild, medium or hot)
1/2 c water
optional spices: 1 T chili powder, 1/2 t coriander, 1/2 t cumin


It's pretty important that you read through the instructions BEFORE beginning. There are a few important steps you don't want to forget.

Before you begin, preheat your oven to 375.

Step 1: boil 2 cups pasta. Al dente steam the 2 cups of veggies. Don't overcook! Remove from stove, drain. Have ready to add to mixture at the end.

Step 2: start the water boiling. I use silicon measuring cups, so I just fill my teapot with extra water and measure the right amount when I need it. If you need to, measure the water into a pot and start it boiling with a lid. You don't want to lose your water!

Step 3: cook the tvp, rotel and 1/2 c water together for about 5 minutes. Don't cook longer.. you don't want soggy tvp! Add spices if you chose. Remove from heat when cooked al dente (about 5 minutes or less).

Step 4: measure out your flour, yeast and spices. Have them ready! While the water is boiling, put the margarine in your trusty cast iron skillet. When it's melted, you're going to add the flour a little at a time. Continually whisk until absorbed into the margarine. Now, little-by-little, add the boiling water. KEEP WHISKING. You want this to be a smooth, whisking process. Whisk until bubbly again.

Step 4: now add salt, soy sauce, garlic, turmeric to the mixture. Now add the tvp mixture and continually whisk. Yes, keep whisking. It'll be over soon! (And worth every second of whisking.)

Step 5: this is when you'll add the pasta and broccoli.

Be careful! At this point my skillet was nearly overflowing! Gently fold the broccoli and pasta into the goo. Oh, it's a beautiful goo!

Step 6: bake at 375 for about 8 minutes. Add bread crumbs to the top (if you desire) and cook a few more minutes. Watch so that it browns.. and remove from oven.

Try not to burn your tongue!

I like to serve this with tortilla chips and an ice cold beer. See, vegans indulge in the richer, finer things in life.

Enjoy (guilt-free)!


I know it seems a little tedious at first. But the more you make it, the easier it'll get. I made a huge mess the first time I made this! Oh wait, I made a huge mess this time, too. What can I say, I enjoy enjoying my kitchen!

Make a mess. Have fun. Get in there.

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