I mentioned on Monday that I bought Melisser's new book, The Vegan Girl's Guide to Life, at the Northeast Florida Veg Fest. What I didn't mention was that I've already cracked the spine on that puppy. I always seem to destroy my favorite cookbooks, and it looks like this one is on its way to an early grave. Yummy for me, not so great for that poor little volume.
My first recipe: Mac and Cheesie Casserole by Kittee Berns.
|No Mac and Lots of Cheesie - spaghetti squash crashes the vegan party!|
Wait a minute, you exclaim. What did you do with the noodles?!!! Well, gang, they were usurped in this dish by spaghetti squash, what with pasta and my gestational diabetes not playing nicely together. The casserole dish you see above is about a pound of cooked and shredded squash with about a quarter of the cheesie sauce from the original recipe. The sauce is pureed cashews mixed into gluten free roux and spiked with plenty of nooch and top secret spices.
It probably could have used more squash per square inch (or cauliflower - ooh, would this be a good vegan cauliflower cheese!), but other than that it was divine. Smoky, rich, and subtly tangy - probably the best vegan mac and cheese I've tried thus far, even though it's really not that much like any dairy dish I'd ever tried. But now that I consider it, isn't that the essence of the good vegan cooking? A great vegan dish won't necessarily make you go "Hot dog! I can't believe it's not a hot dog!" It will, however, give you the same satisfaction as if you actually ate the original (be that a processed weinie or a big bowl of pasta and creamy, decadent orange sauce).
Is anyone still with me? Anyone? Bueller...? Bueller...? (Ha! Ferris Bueller's Day Off! Three for three so far on dumb movie quotes this week!).
I don't feel comfortable reproducing the recipe here, since I don't have author permission and I didn't make any major adaptations to the process. So this post will just have to be a teaser. Or a promo for Melisser's book. Or more praise for all things made by Kittee's gifted hands (I've already lauded her once this week, so why not twice? Since she's provided my favorite vegan quesadilla, the recipe for my daughter's first birthday cake, and brilliantly vegan red beans and rice, I should heap her with accolades more often).
Be warned, people watching their diets, that this is not slimming food. With the squash the carb load is nice, and it's got lots of protein - but boy, howdy, look out for the the fat and calories. If you're going to eat this as a main, plan the rest of your meal accordingly. I had this in a sensible (little less than half-cup) side-dish portion the other night, accompanied by mountains of steamed veggies. So good, and not at all bad for my blood sugar - even though Dr. Barnard, with his no-added-fat eating plan, would slap me upside the head on general principle.
|Some of the tastiest food always fails the photo shoot assignment *sigh!*|
Preview for tomorrow - my favorite fall soup! Not my recipe, I'll tell you now, but so good that I'll gladly give credit where it's due. Until then!
Nutrition information: [from food.com, for a generous two-thirds cup serving]: Calories 269.6; Total Fat 13.8 g; Saturated Fat 2.4 g; Monounsaturated Fat 7.4 g; Polyunsaturated Fat 2.8 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 0.0 mg; Sodium 157.7 mg; Potassium 754.0 mg; Magnesium 86.7 mg; Total Carbohydrate 28.8 g; Dietary Fiber 6.2 g; Sugars 0.7 g; Protein 13.4 g