Sunday, June 13, 2010

Mac & Cheeze & Gardein Chick'N Tenders - For The Kid In You

Hi Everyone! I hope you've had a really good weekend! One thing that I have had a very hard replicating is some good old fashioned mac and cheese. When I first heard the hype about vegan Daiya Cheese I was so excited to run out and get it and whip up this favorite from my childhood! This isn't super healthy.... just a treat, and sometimes we need that! But, I do try to make it as healthy as possible by using whole wheat noodles and throwing some broccoli in there. I paired it with some Gardein "Chicken" tenders and some Regina Spektor because they are both fun and goofy.

Here is my recipe:

For The Noodles:
1/2 LB (plus a little more) Whole Wheat Elbow Noodles
1/2 Tbls olive oil
A few pinches of sea salt

For the Main Dish:
1 bunch green onions, sliced (white and green parts)
1 cup broccoli (cut really small)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tbls Olive Oil
1 Tbls Earth Balance
1/2 cup water
1 cup cheddar Daiya Cheese
1/2 cup mozzarella Daiya Cheese
2 Tbls Braggs liquid amino (or tamari, shoyu, soy sauce)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1 bag Gardein Chicken Tenders


Preheat the oven and cook the tenders based on the directions of the package.

Add the olive oil and salt to the water that you are going to cook the noodles in, and bring the water to a boil.  Once it boils, pour in the noodles and cook to your desired tenderness. I used a little more than half of the 1LB bag.

Once they are done, drain the noodles. In the same pot, turn the heat to medium, and add the olive oil and Earth Balance. Once heated and melted, add the garlic, onions, and broccoli. Cook for about 3 minutes. Add the noodles back into the pot, add the water, the Braggs, garlic powder, and onion powder. Then mix together and add the cheese gradually as you mix. You might want to lower the heat a bit, but still hot enough to melt the cheese. Keep mixing together. You will notice that the cheese might start to get stringy, but just keep mixing and it will start to coat the noodles and eventually look like real mac and cheese. It might take about 10 minutes. If you notice that the noodles or cheese starts to stick you might need to turn down the heat or add a splash of water.

This was my second time making this, but the first time I just used the cheddar, and it turned out fabulous as well. So, it's your choice. I like having the mixture though. Grab a few of the tenders (which are addicting and even good cold), a few spoonfuls of mac and cheese, and you are done!

And, don't forget to put on something fun, like Regina Spektor. Fun is actually an understatement, even though she is silly and quirky, her music is also intelligent, creative, and sometimes complex. I only own and have heard Far and Begin To Hope. When my friend gave me her latest album, Far, I could not get it out of my cd player. I loved it - song after song. I love the themes and enchanting stories, the piano playing, her whimsical singing style, and each song is just as catchy as the next and easy to sing along to.

When I listened to Begin To Hope, I liked about half of it, but the more I listen I am getting into it. At first I thought her voice was just annoying in some songs, but I started to appreciate the quirks and eccentricities. I love the way that she sings as if she's just talking to you. I think it makes the music more intimate. She has this way of capturing a moment in time, and it feels like you are reliving it with her.  I don't know what it is about cooking, but it makes music better. Now I have to grab her older albums!

I hope you enjoy!

Do you have a favorite vegan mac & cheese recipe? What are some of your favorite childhood dishes? Have you made any of them vegan and would like to share?  Email Me  me, I'd love to hear from you. 


1 comment:

Ren said...

I made some of this mac and "cheese" the other day thanks to you... I must say you are genius with adding the Braggs liquid amino or soy sauce. I never would have thought of that. It blends so well with the ingredients to make a fantastic mac and cheezy taste!!