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Instant Mac and Cheese

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Wow, it's been over a month.  Life has been a crazy zoo lately and mine has included the typical holiday craziness, year end work craziness (i'm an accounting geek) and two weeks of sick craziness (including a quarantine request from the health department, shortly after the doctor stabbed my brain *see below*).  In all this crazy craziness, this blog has taken a back burner.

I though I'd get back into the swing of things with a little bit of a re-post. Last year, I came up with a super delicious Mac & Cheese powder, that is still super delicious. But I've tweaked the preparation so that it's rich & creamy, not at all gritty and microwaves in ten minutes. I've been making a double batch and storing the powder in the pantry.

Instant Mac & Cheese

Mac & Cheese Powder
1/2 cup cashews, roughly ground in a spice grinder
1/4 cup oats
2 tbs soy milk powder
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 tbs lemon pepper (add more salt if its salt free)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric

Combine all ingredients and, in batches grind in a spice grinder. After each batch, pour into a sifter and sift/shake into a container. It's important that the powder be fine. Store in an air tight container. And, remember that it takes just as long to make one batch as it does to make two ... or three. Also, cook up a single serving and test for salt, as different lemon pepper brands have different salt levels. Once you've made a batch, it's easy to repeat and makes for a quick meal.

Single Serving - Microwave
1/2 cup dry macaroni or small shells
1 1/2 cup water (see note)
1/4 cup mac & cheese powder
1/2 tbs Earth Balance or vegetable oil (optional, but makes it creamier)

In a 3 cup bowl, combine all ingredients and stir together. Microwave on high until the mixture comes to a boil (2 minutes in my microwave). Stir again and microwave on medium-low (4 on my microwave), so that it simmers, but doesn't boil over. Remove, stir and let rest for a couple minutes (so your tongue doesn't blister). It may take a little testing to adjust the time & power setting to your microwave, but after that, it'll cook unmonitored.

Note: Originally, the water amount was mistakenly written as 1/2 cup.

Four Servings - Stove Top
2 cups dry macaroni or small shells
4 cups water
1 cup mac & cheese powder
2 tbs Earth Balance or vegetable oil (optional, but makes it creamier)

Combine all ingredients in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is cooked. Remove from heat, adding a little water, if necessary, and stir. Serve with vegan dogs, tater tots, or other decadent childhood treats.

Each Serving:  349 cal (12g fat, 49g carbs, 13g protein)

__________________________________________

***Whooping cough is a highly contagious infection characterized by a long, dry coughing fits.  The kind where, days after you've pulled a stomach muscle, you're ready drown in a puddle of your own tears.  The kind where you're willing to run naked through a field of roses just on the off chance that a thorn brushes that throat tickle that won't relent.  And, strangely, you feel pretty good about half the time so you go stir-crazy cooped up at home because the health department nurse called and asked very nicely that you stay home from work for another week ... and called again just to make sure you didn't you didn't ignore your request (maybe she knows my doctor).  And they give you drugs to kill the infection and drugs to help you sleep ... and to test for it, they take a cotton swab, attach it to a six inch toilet snake ... suggest that "you might feel some pressure ... have the nurse "brace" the back of your head ... and cram the whole thing into your nostril, through your sinus canal and lodge it into your brain ... then they twist, just until your eye bulges (like that guy from the Maltese Falcon) and you're ready to confess to being the other guy on the grassy knoll ... Whooping cough is unpleasant.

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9 comments

  1. mollyjade Says:
  2. Saying that whooping cough sounds unpleasant is an understatement. I'm glad you're feeling better!

     
  3. Ainsley Drew Says:
  4. Yikes! Feel better! This mac 'n cheese looks delicious and easy. Awesome idea to create the powder first. Be well!

     
  5. Oh my god. I know that swabbing thing. Geez, they did it to me when I got Swine flu last year. It is the worst.

     
  6. Kim Says:
  7. Glad to see you back and hope you are feeling better!

     
  8. Gina Says:
  9. Two things:

    1. I have just discovered your great site and I love it. Thanks very much for the great recipes and info you share. Look forward to future visits here.

    2. I worked in TZ refugee camps some years ago and an ex-pat colleague contracted whooping cough. It was just as you say, truly horrible, and scary each night when he woke up and could hardly breathe from coughing. Glad you--and he--have recovered.

     
  10. Anonymous Says:
  11. Your mac and cheese looks so good! I only have vanilla soymilk powder, is there anything else I could substitute? Or maybe leave it out and add actual soymilk at the end?

     
  12. Carry Says:
  13. I was thinking the other day how much I missed "emergency mac" - what we called the dry boxed mac & cheese. I almost considered buying a dairy-free, gluten-free version at the store, but stopped short when I saw the list of crazy ingredients. Then I ran across your recipe.

    The dry "cheese" sauce you created is nothing short of miraculous!

    I cooked it on the stove and had some troubles with my first batch because the cheese sauce thickens too quickly to be able to cook the pasta in the sauce. Here is the technique I ultimately figured out:

    Add 1/2 cup of pasta, 1/2 tbsp Earth Balance (optional), and 2/3 cup of cold water to a pan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 2 minutes, then cover and turn the heat off. Let stand for 15 minutes (more or less depending on the size of the pasta). When the pasta is done, give it a hit of heat if it's not hot anymore. Combine the pasta, cooking water and 1/4 cup of cheese mix in a bowl, stir to mix. Enjoy!

    You can obviously double or triple this, depending on how many people you are serving.

     
  14. Hi,
    I'm actually doing a research thesis for my undergrad studies at ucsd and my topic pertains to vegan food blogging.
    I feel as though blogs, of any form are an interesting way to be able to connect to people of similar interests. For me, when I made the switch to veganism (a little over a year ago now) I sought out blogs as a means of a support system.

    I was wondering if you could give me some insight into why you specifically keep a blog? Why you started blogging? and what, if anything, you feel you gain from others blogs?

    Any insight you could give me into the importance of blogging for you would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you for your time,
    Richelle
    rbarta@ucsd.edu

    ps. Anyone who has anything to say on this topic, please feel free to email me!

     
  15. That mac and cheese looks fantastic!!!

     

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