Vegan Taco Mac and Cheese

 

As you can tell, I picked out a handful of recipes from Rich Bitch Cooking for this week. Their website offers a lot of vegan dishes without the vegan meat, which I can’t have. I found this recipe for vegan taco mac and cheese and instantly wanted to try it. I mean, who doesn’t like a good mac and cheese dish right? It’s so much better if you can make your own instead of buying the blue box kind. There’s just so many different food additives nowadays that we’re not really sure what we’re putting in our bodies. You can read a previous post I did about mac and cheese.

This recipe uses rice as the “meat” part of it. In hindsight, I probably should’ve made this on a night where I was going to go to the gym because it is pretty carb heavy. There’s really not that much protein in this either, BUT some people will say that if you eat a wholesome, balanced diet then you don’t really need to eat protein at every meal or even every day. I’ll go more into that at a later date.

First you measure out the rice and cook it. Don’t panic because it looks like you’re hardly cooking any rice at all. Trust me. It will be enough because you’re only going to dish out a little for each plate or bowl.

I meant to measure out how much the 90 grams came to, but in the end I decided not to. I thought I shouldn’t because I didn’t want to mess anything up since I’ve never made this dish before, and for once I wanted to pay attention to a recipe and follow it exactly.

I did find that my rice was starting to burn to the bottom of the pot, but that’s probably because I got busy with my three-year-old who kept saying “Mommy!” and wanted to help with anything and everything in the kitchen, and I had the potatoes and carrots boiling. So if you’re making this dish, maybe just keep an eye on your rice.

When it’s done cooking add all the other ingredients to it. I didn’t have oregano, so I couldn’t add any. In the end, that’s probably not a bad idea since I do have an allergy to it.

Vegan taco mac and cheese meat

Once that was done, I moved on to the root vegetables. You’ll put the potatoes and carrots in a blender with some water to make the cheese sauce.

For the sauce, make sure you pick potatoes that aren’t green or have sprouts. Potatoes are part of the nightshade family and can potentially cause adverse reactions in some people. I’m not supposed to have white potatoes myself.

vegan taco mac and cheese sauce

Potatoes and carrots are packed with nutrients. Carrots are high in vitamin A mainly as beta-carotene, which gives them the orange color. They also contain selenium which is an antioxidant, but it’s hard to find because it usually comes from soil. Potatoes are high in nutrients as well. They’re mostly made up of starch carbs but also have a bit of protein. They have vitamins C and B and are high in potassium.

Since vegetables are sensitive to heat I suggest you use the water you boiled them in to add to the blender. When you boil vegetables, the nutrients end up in the water and very little is left in the vegetables themselves. So, if you boiled your potatoes and carrots like I did, save the water. Use that water to add to your blender. Once you start adding the nutritional yeast you might have to add a bit more water. Again, use the water you used to boil the vegetables in.

I poured my sauce back into a pot and added more nutritional yeast and salt to taste. Then I had to get the two different types of pasta going: gluten and gluten-free.

cooking vegan taco mac and cheese

I don’t know about you, but this is what my stove looks like every time I make a pasta dish. I have to get two different types cooking. Sometimes I  think I need a bigger stove. But you know what? That’s ok. Sometimes you have to make concessions for those who don’t have allergies in your house or for those who don’t eat the way you do. It happens.

Because I had two different types of pasta, I had to spoon out the sauce onto each plate and then mix it together. If you have one type of pasta in your household, go ahead and pour the sauce on it and mix it all up. Then serve with a bit of the taco “meat” on top.

vegan taco mac and cheese

The dish was good. With my sauce, I found the vegetables to be a bit too overpowering. Yours might not be that way. I forgot to buy avocados so my plate looks blah. If you’re looking to add some more protein, you could add some cashews to your sauce or macadamia nuts. You can also throw in some black beans if you wish. I think I might do that next time. If you have carnivores in your house, you can easily cook some ground beef to add to this rice…after you’ve split off your portion. I can’t remember how long it took me to cook, but Rich Bitch says it took them about 40 minutes. You can easily do this on a weeknight. There’s nothing to prep the night before. I don’t recommend you chop your vegetables the night or morning before. The nutrients will be lost. It’s best to keep them intact until you’re ready to cook them. You can, however, go ahead and measure out your rice and spices if you want though.

In closing, this was a good dish, not labor intensive, and I was pleasantly surprised. I’m excited to try another recipe from them later this week.

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