Confession time: I constantly crave comfort food. For me, comfort food is my mom’s homemade Velveeta mac and cheese. There’s nothing that compares when I’m having a bad day…especially if you add peas.
Unfortunately, since I’ve gone vegan, I’ll never get to have Velveeta mac and cheese again (although, Daiya cheddar wedges come scarily close to Velveeta.) For a while when I lived on my own, I’d make a nutritional yeast sauce for over my macaroni, but it always ended up tasting a bit like garlic and curry.
I found a recipe for pumpkin mac and cheese at Oh She Glows and wanted to try it. If nothing else, it gives me a chance to use up that can of pumpkin puree I won at Peoria’s Pumpkin Festival.
- 1 tbsp Smart Balance Light (what I use instead of Earth Balance)
- 3/4 cup original soy milk (or almond milk)
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 6 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard (I substituted yellow mustard and some ground mustard powder…shame on me)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 1/2 tsp sage
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 box of macaroni
1. Cook macaroni according to package instructions. Rinse and set aside.
2. In a medium sauce pan, heat Smart Balance over medium heat until melted. Combine the soy milk, the cornstarch, and 1 tsp garlic powder. Add to melted margarine and stir until combined.
3. As sauce is thickening, add in the mustard, the nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, sage. Once sauce has thickened (it took mine about 6 minutes) add in the cup of pumpkin puree. Admire how orange the sauce is, take a little taste for yourself, then add noodles. I actually stuck the whole thing in the oven for a few minutes with a little shredded Daiya on top. (This was a mistake, the sauce is great on it’s own.)
I served this with baked barbecque tofu and canned peas (I’m not proud of that.) It wasn’t the same as Mom’s mac and cheese, but it did hit the comfort food spot. The sage in it was optional, but I think sage brings out the pumpkin flavor. Even if you’re not vegan, this was a great fall recipe that I’ll definitely be making again. I would serve it with a good Oktoberfest, like Great Lakes or your favorite porter (mine is Founders.)