For some reason, I thought life would settle down when soccer season ended. Wrong! I've had just as many projects at work as I have at home and it has left me very little spare time. We have been cooking and eating plenty, though, so I have several weeks worth of recipes that I can post!
I probably have about 10 mac and cheese recipes. We used to eat it at least once a month if not more. Then last winter, Bill started having problems with dairy so we've had to cool it on our cheese-heavy favorites. Then we found this recipe in Kay's cookbook (that she talks about here) and we were saved. We all really like this version because it is so creamy.
The recipe takes 2 cups of cheese. You can use all regular cheese if you like. I split it half and half with either the vegan recipe I've included at the bottom or a batch of Chreese if I have it on hand.
One more story about mac and cheese. In September Kay came home from school and said, "Did you know that you can buy macaroni and cheese in a box at the grocery store?!" I had to laugh at her amazement because that is, of course, the only way most people ever eat it. I certainly never had from scratch mac and cheese until I was an adult. How funny that Kay is the opposite and never had it from a box!
Macaroni and Cheese
1/4 cup margarine
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk (or soy milk)
2 cups cheese (we used 1 cup cheddar and 1 cup "cheeze sauce"
8 oz elbow macaroni
1/2 cup crushed crackers or bread crumbs (we used multi grain ritz)
Cook the macaroni according to the box directions for the shortest time listed.
In a medium sauce pan, melt the margarine over low heat. Add the flour, stir to mix, and cook 1 minute. Slowly stir in the milk, adding about 1/2 cup and a time. Continue to stir the sauce until it is thick and bubbly (this is a bechamel sauce, by the way).
Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the cheese until melted and combined. Add the cooked macaroni. Pour into an oiled 9 X 13 pan. Top with the crackers or bread crumbs.
Bake in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes.
1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
Mix these ingredients together in a small sauce pan. Whisk in:
2 cups water
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon yellow mustard (actual prepared mustard, not the powder)
Cook this over low heat, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens.
Kay: Every time we've had this it's been really good. It doesn't taste like fake cheese at all. It tastes like regular cheese. I like to eat the Chreese by itself with chips, too. It is not good in omelets though so don't try it!
Mom (Dana): The first time I made this, I didn't tell Bill that it had vegan cheese in it and he ate it up without a complaint! Kay actually requests this specific recipe now.