Monday, August 11, 2008

Yummy Amazingness

I love this picture. I wish I was back in West Virginia looking at this view again. We go to this golf resort every year in WV even though no one in my family EVER golfs. haha And I don't think any of us plan on learning either. But onto better things, I've been seriously considering this culinary school in New York. It's called the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts. It's a specialized 5 month program that a lot of vegetarians and vegans have recommended. Traditional culinary schools have never been for me because I have no interest in learning how to cook a duck, devein shrimp, or slice open a whole pig. So hopefully, after this year at CCAC, I can go to my dream school in New York. Actually, I am not even going to say "hopefully." I am DEFINITELY going there.

Well, there needs to be some mention of food on here besides dead pigs and ducks. Today's recipe is Dreena Burton's Vegan Mac Oh Geez. So far, it is the BEST vegan mac and cheese I have tried...and yeah, it's the only one I've tried, but I plan on trying a few more recipes. The brazil nuts and cashews combined with the almond milk is amazing. It's better than any real mac and cheese I've had, so you NEED to make this. I ate mine with some spinach, but I feel like I eat everything with spinach, so do whatever you want. haha

Here's the recipe:
Vegan Mac Oh Geez

2 3/4 - 3 cups (~10 oz) dry cut pasta (I used whole wheat macaroni)

1/2 + 1/3 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup raw brazil nuts
3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice ( I used about 1 1/2 tbsp vinegar because I was out of lemon juice)
1 large clove garlic
2 tsp arrowroot powder
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp (rounded) dry mustard
1 cup water
1 1/3 – 1 1/2 cups plain non-dairy milk (I used unsweetended almond milk) *(use the full 1 1/2 cups of milk if using full 3 cups of dry pasta)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Breadcrumb Topping:
1 - 1 1/2 cups dry whole-grain breadcrumbs (use full 1 1/2 cups if you like crunchy topping, only 1 cup if you prefer more mac and sauce)
1 1/2 - 2 tbsp olive oil (use full 2 tbsp for full 1 1/2 cups of breadcrumbs)
1/8 tsp (rounded) sea salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Get all ingredients ready to blend for sauce, then start cooking pasta. While pasta is cooking, blend all sauce ingredients in a blender or in a deep bowl with an immersion blender (beging blending the nuts and other ingredients with about 1/2 of the liquid to smooth it out, then when smooth, add remaining liquid and blend again until entire mixture is very smooth). Once pasta is almost tender, fully drain (don’t rinse). Mix noodles with sauce, and immediately pour into a lightly oiled 8 x 12” baking dish. (it will look like there is a lot of runny sauce – it will thicken up, trust the pasta!) Mix breadcrumb toppings in a small bowl, then sprinkle over top of casserole. Cover with foil and bake for 16-18 minutes. Then, remove foil cover and bake another 5-7 minutes or until topping is golden brown and crisped. Don’t overbake or sauce will get too thick. Remove from oven and place casserole on a hot plate (rather than on top of oven, since residual heat from oven will continue to thicken the sauce). You are ready to eat!