When we were kids, our parents used to take us to this really cool restaurant twenty minutes outside of Barcelona, that specialized in Catalan cuisine. It was located on a little hill off the Mediterranean coast, on a huge property in a heavily wooded area. The place had a playground and tons of room to run around. As kids, we just loved going there.
The chef and his wife owned the place, and their whole family worked there as well. What you call a true family business. Our dad got to know them very well, since he would take his customers there regularly for business lunches.
So every time we would go there as a family, we would get the VIP treatment. The chef would prepare off the menu, special dishes just for us, inspired by whatever produce was available that day at the market. Or, get this, by whatever mushrooms he picked that day.
Besides being an amazing chef, the owner of the restaurant was also an expert "mushroom picker". Not an easy task, considering the numerous varieties of poisonous mushrooms that grow out there!
Some of our best times as kids (and as adults!) were spent there and we were so sad to hear the restaurant closed a few years ago.
Since those days, we have always loved mushrooms. Not only for their intense, earthy taste, but to us, they're also sort of comforting. They bring us right back to that place we loved so much. So I guess it made sense for us to pair them up with another comfort food, such as mac and cheese! With a vegan twist, of course. And baked in single cups, for portion control.
To create the "cheesy" sauce for our vegan mac, we used a combination of GO Veggie! Chive & Garlic Dairy Free Cream Cheese Alternative, for extra creaminess, and the Mexican Style Shreds, for the assertive flavor and super gooey melting properties.
By making a vegan version of this typically heavy dish, we also made it lighter and healthier! Because the non-dairy alternatives we use are free of cholesterol, lower in saturated fat and calories than their dairy conterparts, they are the perfect choice for anyone with dietary sensitivities, restrictions or simply looking to improve their heart or overall health.
So you can have your mac & cheese and eat it too 🙂
- 1-14.5 oz High Protein Elbow Macaroni
- 2 bunches enoki mushroom, chopped
- 10 shiitake mushrooms, diced
- 3 small bunches oyster mushrooms, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- 4 tbsp flour
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 4 tbsp GO Veggie! Dairy Free Garlic & Chive Cream Cheese Alternative
- 1 cup GO Veggie! Dairy Free Mexican Style Shreds
- 5 tbsp Panko bread crumbs
- Preheat oven to 375F
- Cook the pasta in salted water, following the package instructions for al dente and drain well
- In the meantime, saute mushroom in 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat for 5-7 minutes. Add about ⅛ teaspoon of salt and set aside
- To prepare the "cream" sauce, heat 3 tablespoon olive oil In a large sauce pan. Add flour mixing well constantly and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Slowly add almond milk and continue cooking until small bubbles form on the side of the pan, stirring constantly making sure flour mixture is completely dissolved.
- Once "cream" has thickened, add Garlic & Chive Cream Cheese alternative and Mexican Style Shreds. Simmer until it thickens a little more. Add ¼ teaspoon salt (or to taste), ⅛ teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
- Add 4 cups cooked macaroni and cooked mushrooms to the sauce and remove from heat
- Spoon mixture into 6 - 1cup ramekins
- In a small bowl, combine panko bread crumbs, ⅛ teaspoon salt, ⅛ teaspoon pepper and 1 tablespoon olive and mix well
- Sprikle panko bread mixture on top of each ramekin. Bake at 375F for 10 minutes or until golden brown
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins