Monday, May 9, 2011

Veganomicon Mac Daddy

Mac Daddy with Veggies

I love my boyfriend, but if I could date a book, it would be The Veganomicon. Boyfriend's pretty okay with it, as long as I also feed him when it turns out something awesome (which is basically always).

This is a dish for all those moments when people ask me, "Don't you miss cheese?"

No. Way.

If you don't own the book (though obviously I think you should) you can find the recipe here.

Cook elbow macaroni.

Make cheesy sauce. 

Crumble and season tofu.

Put veggies, pasta and sauce in the pan with the tofu. Mix it up.

Top with breadcrumbs.

Bake.

Plate.

Try to savor it slowly. I dare you. 

My Recipe Notes

1. Size: It's written for a 9x13 pan. That's a lot for one person. I love leftovers, but not always for 8+ days straight, so it's easy to just halve the recipe and put it in an 8x8.

2. Additions and Modifications 
a. Vegetables: I love veggies and have since I was a baby. (Apparently mom used to just blend up the broccoli they were having for dinner and feed it to me.) 
You could toss in any cooked or frozen vegetables when you mix the noodles into the pan. I used 1 cup frozen peas and 2 cups frozen broccoli. Despite halving the recipe but keeping the veggies high, I thought it could do with a little less noodle and more vegetables, but that's how I like everything. In a full recipe (the 9x13 size) I'd definitely go for 6+ cups of veggies. 
b. Breadcrumbs: Just a 1/2 cup of bread crumbs over the top gives a nice crunch that baked pasta really shouldn't go without. 
c. Oils and Fats: I love healthy fats as much (more than?) the next person. Shoot, I put almond butter in my soup last night. However, there's so much other great flavor in these recipes that I cut the oil to a teaspoon pretty much anytime a tablespoon is called for in the book. Breezy low-fat cooking.  

3. Cooking Time: The recipe calls for 30 minutes, but I thought it needed about 45, and for the last ten, I turned the heat up to 400 and moved it to the top rack to make it nice and crunchy on top.

4. To Serve: Wait 20 minutes and it will not only be firm, but the perfect temperature. I sliced it with a spatula and then scooped it onto the plate. 

5. Nutrition: A quarter of the 8x8 pan (the pictured amount) is under 400 calories, and takes up a whole plate. More importantly, it combines protein, carbs, veggies and that comfort food feeling that is sometimes everything you want. That's a nutrient right?

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In other news:
- Finals completed: 5. (The final one this morning was really hard.) 
- Classes passed: Unknown. 
- Classes failed: Currently none. I'll take it. 
- Workout: Bike commute. Otherwise a rather lazy day.

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