Friday, July 3, 2009

Chipotle Macaroni and 'Cheese'

Chipotle chiles in adobo sauce add a nice kick to this vegan mac and cheese. I learned a great trick last time I bought a can. Since a recipe very rarely (rd: never) calls for the whole can (typically sold in 7-ounce portions), it can be tough to store the remaining chiles and sauce! However, if you scoop one chipotle chile and about a teaspoon of adobo sauce into each portion of an ice cube tray, you can freeze for months, and simply thaw one batch at a time as needed! The brand that I had "on ice" is Casa Fiesta, which doesn't contain sugar, and thus runs no risk of bone char filtration. So if you currently have frozen chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, make sure to thaw one batch ahead of time for this recipe!

The other thing you'll want to do ahead of time is make the vegan version of cottage cheese, since the recipe calls for one cup of it. In a bowl, combine 8 ounces silken tofu, 2 teaspoons lemon juice and a generous pinch of salt. Mash with a fork until it resembles the consistency of cottage cheese. Cover and refrigerate - ideally for 5 hours, but mine was fine after only 3 hours since I got a late start.

When it's recipe time, the first thing to do is chop your chipotle chile to equal one tablespoon and to set aside 1 teaspoon of adobo sauce.

Melt 1 tablespoon of vegan butter (such as Earth Balance) in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the chopped chipotle chile, 1/2 cup finely chopped onion, 1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper and one minced garlic clove; cook for 4 minutes, stirring frequently.

Sprinkle 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour over the mixture, and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to medium and add one (14-ounce) can of diced tomatoes and green chiles (such as Whole Foods' 365 brand) and cook for 3 minutes.

Add the teaspoon of adobo sauce, 4 cups of hot cooked elbow macaroni (you'll want about 2 cups dry to make those 4 cups cooked), 2 cups shredded vegan cheddar (such as Galaxy Foods), the 'cottage cheese' that you have previously made, 1 cup plain soy milk (such as Silk), 1/4 cup grated vegan cheese in place of Parmesan (try the vegan mozzarella from Galaxy Foods), and the equivalent of one egg using egg replacer (such as Ener-G). Stir to combine.

Spoon the pasta mixture into a 2 quart (11x7-inch) baking dish. Sprinkle the top with 3 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs. Why wouldn't breadcrumbs be vegan, but the panko breadcrumbs from Edward & Sons are certifiably so.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes - it will be nice and bubbly!

You'll have 6, one-cup servings of 330 calories each.

onion $0.62
green bell pepper $1.12
canned diced tomatoes and green chiles $0.99
vegan cheddar $3.39

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance