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Creamy Vegan Cashew Mac and Cheese
Aysegul Sanford of the Foolproof Living blog ditches all that dairy for a lighter—but equally delicious—option.
06-09-2017
America's Test Kitchen

Let America’s Test Kitchen introduce you to a delicious world of interesting textures and fresh flavors that make cooking vegan accessible to all. We’ve published our first vegan cookbook, Vegan for Everybody, that suits the needs of everyone—whether you’re a strict vegan or not. In doing so, we developed recipes (with no animal products—period) that wowed us in terms of flavor and texture, showing that veganism isn’t about making sacrifices or substitutions, but about celebrating a new way to eat.


Homestyle stovetop mac and cheese is a dish you might think you have to live without on a vegan diet—the word cheese is in the name, after all. But in our recent publication, Vegan for Everybody, we created a winning formula—it all starts with a mixture of cashews, cauliflower, and almond milk—for vegan mac and cheese.

Food blogger and photographer Aysegul Sanford of Foolproof Living recently made our recipe for Creamy Cashew Mac and Cheese. Here's what she had to say: 

“As the name suggests, Vegan For Everybody is truly for everyone,” Aysegul writes. “If you have never cooked vegan food before and don't know where to start, this is the book that you need to get.”

Our winning combination of cashews, cauliflower, and almond milk form the base of our cheese sauce.

“How many times have you heard people say, 'I can never be vegan, because I love cheese so much,'" writes Aysegul. "Well, I am on the same boat. Cheese makes me happy and I cannot imagine my life without it. That is why when I saw this mac and cheese recipe in the book, I was curious to find out how they did it. Think about it: how would they mimic all the butter, milk, flour, Gruyère, and cheddar to create the same consistency and texture?”

As the name suggests, Vegan For Everybody is truly for everyone. If you have never cooked vegan food before and don't know where to start, this is the book that you need to get.

We made a decadent, pasta-coating sauce—minus the dairy.

“The only way to find out was to make the recipe, so I bought the ingredients and gave it a try," writes Aysegul. "To my surprise, the end product with no cheese, butter, or milk was really good.”

Nutritional yeast is a savory, flaky substance that will quickly become any vegan cook’s best friend. Simply yeast that’s grown on a mixture of beet molasses and sugarcane and then heated to deactivate its leavening properties, it’s often used to mimic the flavor of cheese. And for good reason—it has a funky, nutty, almost salty depth that matches cheese in its richness and complexity. We add it to dishes that are traditionally cheesy like our Creamy Cashew Mac and Cheese.

Our foolproof vegan mac and cheese is made with cauliflower, cashews, and nutritional yeast.

“To mimic what the butter-flour-milk combination does, they mixed almond milk, cauliflower florets, and raw cashews,” Aysegul writes. “Once all the ingredients were cooked, they blended everything in a blender, which turned into a creamy sauce.”

This vegan mac and cheese is a dish even your omnivorous, cheese-loving friends and family members will become obsessed with.

BOOKSTORE

Vegan for Everybody

Veganism is going mainstream. The benefits of consuming fewer animal products appear frequently in the news. But eating vegan can seem overwhelming: Will it be flavorful? Satisfying? Easy to make? In Vegan for Everybody, the test kitchen addresses head-on what gives people pause—finding great and filling vegan protein options, cooking without dairy, preparing different whole grains and vegetables, and even baking.

 

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