The other night I did my first ever cookery demo, and I loved it. Probably mainly because I managed to crowbar in some cheese jokes.
When I became vegan, I accepted the ‘truth’ that I would never enjoy mac n cheese again, never again make cheese jokes… How wrong I was. This is my favourite comfort food which also doubles as a carb-loading meal the night before a race, but isn’t as stodgy as a non-vegan version, plus you get one of your five-a-day!
Q: “How does Spanish vegan cheese introduce itself?” A: “Soy cheeze!”
This recipe is completely flexible; you can use pumpkin or potatoes and carrots instead of the squash, or miss out literally any of the ingredients (although not all!) and it’ll still work – you can even substitute the mylk for water. So don’t worry if you’re missing an item or two from the list or don’t like something, skip it and give it a go anyway.
Makes a great mac ‘n’ cheeze, nacho dip (leave out a little of the liquid so it’s thicker) or lasagne layer. Can be frozen then thawed at room temp (add liquid as needed).
Measurements are in American cups, because Instagram, and rough – vary to taste.
Here we go.
Soak cashews overnight. (Soak in hot boiled water if you’re pushed for time.)
Preheat oven to 200°C.
Peel & chop butternut squash into 1cm pieces, drizzle with oil and roast for 30 mins. (If avoiding oil, boil until soft)
Meanwhile, blend the following until smooth:
1 ¼ cups (1 Lidl packet) cashews, soaked (can be substituted for shelled sunflower seeds)
¼ cup olive or vegetable oil
Squeeze of lemon juice
1 tsp garlic powder (can be substituted for 1 roasted garlic clove)
1 tbsp onion powder (can be substituted for ½ small roasted onion)
¼ cup nutritional yeast (AKA engevita, nooch, hippy dust. More if you like it cheesy).
⅛ tsp salt
¼ tsp turmeric
1 cup soya or other plant mylk (pref unsweetened)
Add extra liquid if your blender isn’t happy.
Add the following and blend again until smooth:
1 ½ cups roasted butternut squash
For mac ‘n’ cheeze, mix into freshly cooked macaroni (or gluten-free equivalent), top with freshly ground black pepper and crunchy ‘bacon’ bits. Can be put in the oven and sprinkled with vegan cheese.
Q: “What would you say to a Mexican who tried to take your cheeze?” A: “Nacho cheeze!”