I think the smartest thing for myself to do as I develop recipes, or recreate and spruce other recipes is trying to keep in mind not everything I do will be healthy. Not because I don’t want to eat healthy, but sometimes it’s just not an option and sometimes it’s not my go to. When it comes to vegetarian/vegan food, i’m extremely adventurous. At first I was just a vegetarian junk food fanatic. All that soy based crap, chips, fries, and pasta, pasta I ate almost every day – sometimes twice a day. I never started being a vegetarian to lose weight or to eat healthier, though once I got sick of veggie burgers every night it started to become clear to me that I had to try, and trying has lead me to cooking things in ways that manipulate most of my past junk foods into healthier alternatives.
(me justifying eating poorly because it’s monday, and I don’t have to worry about fitting into my skinnies until friday)
But if you’re looking for something healthy, see past posts…I’m taking a page out of my youth and going head over heals into Mac and Cheese.
I have yet to try a vegan mac and cheese, and i’m sure when I do, the absence of cheese will be very noticeable. This has something to do with the fact that i’ve been making homemade Mac for 10+ years, in fact when I went to Culinary School and learned the five mother sauces, I was so blown away by the fact I’d been making bechamel my whole life. There really is something special about Mac and Cheese. It’s a great comfort food. Maybe even the best.
My 5 tips for making yours the best Mac and Cheese:
- 18% Cream is the best liquid for making your bechamel
- Spice it up, play with flavours that are compatible with lots of cheesey ooeey gooeey (my favourite is cajun)
- Garlic Confit
- Don’t be shy with the cheese, it’s in the name!!!
- Protein! Pack shrimp, chicken, tofu, or broccoli in that son of a *****
Jacked Mac and Cheese
serves the whole damn fam
1 package of macaroni
1 cup of shredded marble cheese
500 ml of 18% cream
3 tbsp of garlic confit
3 tbsp of flour
2 cups of jack cheese (reserve 1/4 for the top)
2 cups cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
1/4 cup of bocconcini
1 bag of cooked shrimp, peeled&deveined.
Start by heating your garlic confit, and flour over medium heat. Let simmer for 2 minutes. Slowly add the cream. Stir occasionally.
In the meantime, cook elbow noodles in salted water as per package requirements. Drain and put in a large greased casserole dish.
Once your sauce is simmering and thick, add the marble and jack cheese. Then, add your shrimp with 1 tbsp of cajun seasoning.
Lather your noodles in the sauce, and top with cherry tomatoes, breadcrumbs, reserved jack cheese, and bocconcini.
Bake at 400F for 40 minutes, until cheese is melted, and browning on top.
Garnish with parsley, serve with beer and enjoy!