Mac n’ Cheese was always one of my favourite meals growing up but it doesn’t contain rather a lot of dairy products, which don’t necessarily agree with my stomach overly well nowadays. It’s not something that I avoid all together, but just when I can. You’ll probably know, I’m a huge fan of creating alternative plant based options and just plant based food in general. The majority of recipes that I make, I would say are vegan and it’s what I find most inspiring if I’m honest. I just love getting creative with all of the amazing plant based ingredients and seeing what I can come up with. Some things can be a little more challenging than others, but it’s incredible how many things you can make a vegan option for!
Despite having ‘cheese’ in the title, this is actually such an easy recipe to switch to dairy free! For that cheesy taste, I’ve used a combination of Vio Life vegan cheeses and also some nutritional yeast. The vegan cheese melts amazingly into the sauce and even creates that thick, gooey texture that you get from the classic melted cheese sauces! Very Instagram video worthy!
The base of the sauce is just a classic white sauce style mixture, however I use coconut oil in place of butter and then a non-dairy milk (here I’ve used almond). I find that this combination works pretty much the same way as butter, flour and milk and is a great base for a whole host of different flavoured sauces.
This works as an excellent side dish or starter and the smokey flavour pairs perfectly with classic BBQ dishes, now that we’re actually starting to see a glimpse of Summer weather. I haven’t really had many BBQ’s since living in London, so hopefully we can make that more of a regular thing this year!
- Tbsp buckwheat flour
- 4 servings of pasta (around 300g)
- Tbsp coconut oil
- 300ml almond milk +extra as needed
- 1/2-1 tsp smoked paprika
- 4 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- 3-5 slices Vio life Original or cheddar cheese- depending on how cheesy you’d like it
- 100g cherry tomatoes
- Olive oil
- Basil to garnish
Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet.
Preheat the oven to 200c. Slice the tomatoes in half and place onto a baking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil and pinch of sea salt. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes until blistered and juicy.
To make the sauce, begin by gently melting the coconut oil in a saucepan over a low heat, then stir in the flour to create a roux.
Remove from the heat and pour in a little of the milk whilst whisking until smooth.
Return to the heat and add the remaining milk. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer whilst continuing to whisk.
Add in the paprika, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper and Vio Life cheese. Stir continuously until the sauce has thickened and cheese is all melted. Adjust seasonings to taste and add extra milk if needed.
Add the pasta and toss everything together, then serve topped with the roasted tomatoes, extra black pepper and some fresh basil leaves.