Vegan Mac and Cheese

Ingredients for 4 Servings

  • 1 ½ cups (225 g) elbow macaroni
  • ¾ cups (175 ml) unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • ⅔ cup (60 g) vegan cheese shreds (I used Follow Your Heart/Earth Island Mozzarella)
  • 2 tablespoon (30 ml) vegan butter or margarine
  • 2 tablespoon (8 g) nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2-3 teaspoon (10-15 ml) white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) onion powder
  • 1-2 teaspoon (5-10 ml) sugar
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) salt, add more to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste

Preparation

  1. In a small bowl, measure out the cheese, butter, nutritional yeast, vinegar, garlic and onion powder, sugar, and salt.
  2. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to boil. Add macaroni noodles. Cook pasta al denté, according to package instructions. Drain the pasta but DO NOT rinse it. The leftover starch from cooking the pasta thickens the cheese sauce.
  3. In the pot you used to boil the pasta, turn heat to medium. Add the cooked macaroni, and stir in unsweetened almond milk, and measured ingredients from step 1. The mac and cheese will look a little soupy at this stage.
  4. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until vegan cheese is melted, and the sauce is smooth and thickened to your liking. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Christmas Cracker Candy

Ingredients for 45 pieces

  • 28 to 35 saltine crackers (about one sleeve, enough to line your tray)
  • 1 cup (220 g) packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup (225 g or 2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (10 to 12 ounces) chopped good-quality semi-sweet chocolate

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Line a 10×15-inch jelly roll pan with nonstick aluminum foil (preferred) or regular heavy duty foil, making sure that the foil completely covers the bottom and sides of the pan. If using regular foil, spray lightly with baking spray. Line the saltine crackers in a single layer on the bottom.
  3. Make the caramel sauce:Place the brown sugar, butter and salt in a medium sized saucepan. Cook on medium heat, stirring frequently, until the butter melts. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for another 3 to 5 minutes, just until the mixture comes to a boil and starts to darken. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
  4. Pour the hot brown sugar mixture over the saltine crackers: Spread to evenly coat the crackers.
  5. Move the pan to the oven and bake for 5 minutes: The caramel will be hot and bubbly.
  6. Melt the chocolate: Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Cook it in the microwave in 30-second intervals at full power, stirring between each cook time, until the chocolate has melted.
  7. Pour the chocolate over the baked crackers: Once the crackers are done baking, remove from the oven and allow to cool for 1 minute exactly, until the caramel is no longer bubbling. Then pour the melted chocolate over the crackers. Use a spatula to spread the chocolate evenly over the top.
  8. Chill the crackers overnight: Let the crackers cool to room temperature then move to the refrigerator and cool overnight.
  9. Crack the crackers: The crackers will form a single sheet once cool. Remove from pan and gently peel the foil away, being careful not to tear the foil. (If any bits of foil tear and get stuck in the caramel, break those bits away and discard.) Cut the candy into snack-sized pieces using a chef’s knife (you can use your hands, too, but I find it easier with a knife). Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about a week.