Hello and Happy Wednesday,
Time for another mid-week meal to pop up here on the blog. I’m feeling rather tired and a little gloomy, sort of like the weather here in the south of Sweden. That’s when comforting bowls like this butternut mac n cheese are the best. Not just because it’s yummy but because making it is pretty low maintenance, at least in my terms. I decided since there are many similar recipes out there that I needed my own twist to the dish and that’s were the tofu ‘bacon’ bits come in.
Rob introduced me to bacon bits, the processed and packaged store bought version that is, a few years ago and since I’ve been sprinkling it on soups, stews, salads, pancakes and the list goes on. However I’m not the biggest fan of the ingredients list of the product I so lovingly sprinkle all over the place so I decided to try my hand at making my own. The tofu bits are less crunchy but has a deliciously smokey, salty and sweet flavour and you can add detract from the recipe to create the exact flavour you like.
I think the combination of this vegan mac n cheese, i.e. this mac and no cheese but butternut/cashew/miso/nutritional yeast sauce mac, is perfect. You get creamy, velvety, savoury, slightly tangy mac and salty, smokey, sweet tofu bits on top. Match made right here on earth that tastes heavenly in my opinion. I am pretty sure this dish is child proof as well, although I haven’t tried it on any children. Yet.
I hope you guys like this recipe and I’d love to hear what your favourite comfort meal is? I will need inspiration now that the snow and cold’s rolling in for real over here. Enjoy! x
MAC N CHEESE W/ BUTTERNUT + TOFU ‘BACON’ BITS
YIELDS: 4 servings / TIME: 45 min
Mac n cheese:
500 g macaroni, gluten free if required
1/2 medium sized butternut squash
1/2 heaped cup raw cashews
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
2 tsp onion powder
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1/2 lemon, juice
3/4 cup plant milk, I used oat
Tofu ‘bacon’ bits:
1 (270g) block firm tofu
1/2 cup soya sauce or tamari
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp liquid smoke
2 tsp smoked paprika powder
Preheat oven to 175 degrees celsius.
Press your tofu to remove any excess liquid before crumbling it into small pieces and placing it in a mixing bowl.
Mix the rest of the ingredients for the ‘bacon’ bits in a small bowl and add to the crumbled tofu. Combine to coat all the tofu pieces and spread on a lined baking sheet.
Roast for between 30-40 minutes.
Peel, deseed and cut your butternut squash into small pieces and steam until tender.
Add to a high speed blender and add all the other mac n cheese ingredients too, except for the actual macaroni.
Blend until smooth.
Cook your macaroni as to the instructions on the package.
Mix your drained macaroni with your butternut cheese sauce and heat in a sauce pan.
Serve sprinkled with your tofu ‘bacon’ bits and if you wish some fresh herbs like oregano.