Food Coma, Life

It’s Monday So Chew On This: My Mac-n-cheese Disaster.

I’ve never made a vegan mac-n-cheese before, and I’m slightly ashamed. Not like, “Uh oh, I think I just sharted” sort of shame. More like the “are they just going to come in the middle of the night to take my vegan card away, or will it just disappear?” If there was ever a time to try some new recipes, it is clearly during Vegan MoFo. What better way to spread your shame like herpes than to publicly broadcast it on the interwebs? Good thing for us all, my shame knows no bounds. My shame will slap your shame in the face every day and then pee in your kool-aid. I fear I’ve gotten off track here…should we talk about this mac-n-cheese now?

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I was armed with about 10 different mac-n-cheese recipes to choose from so I enlisted my mom’s help to narrow it down. One wanted me to add butternut squash, but that clearly scared the shit out of me, so I decided to file that one away for “use when no longer scared like a little girl.” One recipe wanted me to add carrots and potatoes, and that just seemed bizarre. My mom and I settled on one that gets baked with yummy breadcrumbs on top. Winner winner! This one came from Lindsay S. Nixon’s “The Happy Herbivore” cookbook. I was super stoked to make this. I ran to Kroger and got the ingredients I needed, but left without the miso. My Kroger didn’t have miso, except for the instant miso soup with tofu packets. I was undeterred…maybe the missing miso wouldn’t make a different in the mac-n-cheese.

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I started with the pasta. Can we talk about this package? First off, what the shit do bronze plates have to do with my pasta? I was intrigued, bemused, clearly I had to have it. I almost got roped into buying risotto, polenta, and orzo from the same makers. The packaging department deserves a raise! Somewhere, some dude is smoking a cigarette and drinking black coffee and yelling, “Hey Ira! Some jackass in Georgia just bought our whole wheat pasta and actually believes we use bronze plates! Drinks on me tonight!”

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I added all of the yummy ingredients to the skillet (sans miso), I blended some shelf-stable tofu into a delightful consistency, I was a cooking fool. It smelled lovely, I must tell you. I threw it all into a baking dish, added the breadcrumbs, and crossed my fingers as I popped it into the oven.

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I COULD NOT WAIT to try this shiz. I just knew that I would be making this for all pot luck parties in my near future. Invitations would have hand written notes that read “And don’t forget that mac-n-cheese! We’re STILL talking about it! XOXO.” This was it. My time as a vegan mac-n-cheese virgin was over, and now a new era would welcome me with open arms.

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I don’t know how to break this to you all, so I’m just going to spill it. This was so bland, with no flavor, that it was a HUGE disappointment. And can I be honest with you all? I was the most sad that my damn bronze plated pasta was ruined. This dish was no bueno. Could it have been the lack of miso? Was it a miso disaster? What went wrong? My friends tried it as well, and it was a total bust. It ended up being donated to the neighborhood raccoons, as they greatly enjoy bronze plated pasta.

I’m still on the lookout for a vegan mac-n-cheese recipe that will rock all socks I own. Does anyone have any recipes to share? On to the next!


20 thoughts on “It’s Monday So Chew On This: My Mac-n-cheese Disaster.”

  1. Ohhhh ho ho! I obsessed over vegan macaroni and cheese for more than a year now. I don’t think you picked the best recipe to try. That one is good, but it’s more creamy and will lack a bit of flavor without the miso. That recipe seems to be trying to imitate those really creamy baked macaroni and cheese dishes. What kind of macaroni and cheese are you going for? I know a few recipes for you that you might like:

    As for the recipes people gave you, the squash one isn’t too scary once you master the easier ones. The potato and carrot one is bland. I would skip it.

    I can’t wait to see you try again! It’ll get better, I promise! šŸ™‚


    1. Jill, you have helped me to not give up! There are more recipes to try out in the world, and maybe I can even create one! I will absolutely check the recipes out that you suggested. I promise to not give up! šŸ™‚


  2. I’m sorry. Kitchen failures happen to us all, but they are always such a bummer! Especially after you’ve worked so hard and had all that happy anticipation!


  3. That Happy herbivore recipe was the grossest mac n cheese I ever made. It really put me off vegan mac n cheese for awhile. Try the Sunflower Mac from Isa Does It…it’s wonderful!


    Search mac and cheese she has great easy recipes.
    Aanother great resources

    I always add butternut squash in mine to add flavor and nutrition. My son gobbles it up and always wants more. May have to explore other health food stores Rainbow, Savannda, Life Grocery,WF, Return to Eden, Nuts N Berries. Kroger may be close by and cheap but it is not always has the best selection for vegan foods and org produce.
    Try adding different vegan cheeses cheddar, pepper jack. Make sure you season it sea salt, paprika, turmeric, nutritional yeast.
    Also panko has sugar added so check the label not all are vegan. Hope this helps


    1. Thanks, Saniel! I have an “Oh She Glows” recipe to try in the future. Maybe I shouldn’t be scared of the butternut squash…everyone seems to love it! Thanks for the help!


  5. I feel your pain because I have sent many vegan mac and cheeses to the trash can half eaten. I had to try many recipes before I found one that I loved. (My current favorite is the recipe in Vegan Diner).


  6. You’ve gotten some great suggestions. Yes, I would say the miso is pretty important, But cardinal cooking rule number ONE – always taste, taste, taste as you go, to avoid a finished dish that’s less than stellar. No one recipe suits everyone as written.
    I like this basic recipe to start with, but I doctor it a lot by adding lemon juice, umeboshi plum vinegar, nutritional yeast, a little mustard, coconut milk (from a can) and probably too much SALT. I should write down the specifics because it’s super popular with my kiddos, and they’re the harshest critics out there. Probably not as healthy but it’s not that bright orange processed stuff, so I’m happy!.


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