Vegetarian Lifestyle
Mac & Cheese To The Rescue
By Doris Romeo
Apr 9, 2006 - 1:35:00 PM

Photo by Olga Litvin
I don't know anyone who doesn't like macaroni and cheese. There are many recipes, but after trying a number of them, this one may be the best. Vegans can substitute soy cheese for regular cheese. Regular milk can be substituted with plain soy milk or rice milk. The soy substitutes are available at all health food markets.

1 lb. elbow macaroni
4 cups milk
5 T. butter (unsalted) or soy margarine
1 small white onion
1 clove stick
1 small bay leaf
1 t. dry mustard, hot if preferred
2 thyme sprigs (fresh, removed from stem)
2 to 4 cloves of garlic, grated fine (quantity depends on individual taste preferences)
2 T. flour (white wheat, available at health food markets)
2 cups shredded cheese (cheddar is preferable)
1 cup cheese cut in chunks (cheddar, Monterey jack or blue)
1/4 lb. fresh coarse grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the macaroni according to package directions, drain, mix with a little bit of butter to coat, set aside.

Take a large baking dish and coat or spray with butter; set aside. Do not refrigerate.

Pour the milk into a pot. Add the bay leaf, garlic, mustard and thyme. Stick the clove into the onion, add the milk, heat until it gets to a boil, turn off the flame, cover and let seep for 10 to 15 minutes. Put the butter in a skillet, warm until just bubbly, add the flour, blend, and add the milk through a strainer, slowly whisking it all the time. Add half of each cheese and let it melt. Add the salt and pepper, put the macaroni in the baking dish and cover with the liquid, blending well. Add the cheese chunks on top, sprinkle the other cheeses over it and bake for about 30 minutes (a crust will form). When the crust is a nice light brown it's ready.

This Mac & Cheese can be refrigerated for up to four days or frozen for up to a month.

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