You will LOVE this and so will your non-vegan friends. We promise!
Sorry we’ve been gone for a while. On Sunday we lost my dear, sweet father/Alex’s grandfather to a long, brave battle with Alzheimer’s.
As much as you think that you can prepare yourself for the end, you can’t. The only light in this tragic story is that he is not suffering any longer. He’s at peace.
I’m a very spiritual person and I absolutely believe that he’s in a better place, laughing, loving, and dancing. He loved to dance. We had dance parties in his room at the nursing home right up until his last six months.
My father was an amazing man. He adored his family and did everything he could to make sure that we were happy and healthy. He worked two jobs when he was young so that we could have what he considered to be the best life possible. The truth is, as long as we had him and my mom, our lives were golden.
One of his favorite things, besides dancing, was food. He made the best pancakes I’ve ever eaten, same for French toast. He was in charge of the Thanksgiving turkey – yeah I know – but that was then and this is now. And, he loved comfort food. Mashed potatoes, pudding, and mac n cheese.
If EVER there was a time for comfort food, today is the day. The realization of his death is starting to sink in, and I’ll admit it, I’m overwhelmingly sad. The idea of not being able to hug him, kiss his cheek, and dance with him weighs heavily on my heart.
The weather isn’t helping either. It’s been gray and rainy, and quite chilly here in Chicagoland. It’s as if the universe is testing me and my family’s resilience. Little does it know, we have my dad’s genes, and one of his favorite phrases was, “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” NOTHING will ever make us give up on anything. We will be happy again, we will do what we can to fight the wretched disease that is Alzheimer’s, and we will always know that my dad is with us, watching over us, and taking care of us.
When I woke up I really didn’t feel like creating, cooking, or photographing. My enthusiasm for my usual daily joys was feeling as damp as the air. But after I dragged my sorry butt to the gym and sweated out some of my anger, inspiration started to creep back in.
As I drove home, my mind racing with memories of my dad, I started craving macaroni and cheese. Why? I don’t know, probably because it’s comfort food and I needed some serious comforting. As I tried to figure out how I was going to make this dish now that I was a vegan, I had to plug in my creative juices and block out reality for a while. Truthfully, that felt really good.
The recipe is actually super easy. I used soaked cashews, because I have made cashew cheese many times, so why not this time? I used steamed cauliflower, because when it’s whipped it does have a creamy texture, like melted cheese. I used nutritional yeast because it tastes a lot like cheese – true – and it gives the mixture a nice yellow color. Then I added cayenne pepper, paprika, and salt to finish it off.
I used our Blendtec on the Food Processor/Knead Dough setting, after I had pulsed the large to meal. You might have to use a spoon to release some of the large pieces if it jams. I love our Blendtec, it can do everything that our food processor does, but the clean up is so much easier. Click Blendtec Professional Series Blender” to check it out!
The result? OMG, AMAZING!!!! Even my non-vegan son likes it. I sprinkled some coconut bacon on top and started eating a nice big bowlful. Each bite made me feel a little better, and by the time it was gone, I was ready to start working.
Another bonus to this vegan macaroni and cheese recipe is that it’s low in fat, low in cholesterol, and low in calories when compared to the real cheese version. SCORE!!
Guess what? The sun just came out, and Alex and I made two recipes to share with you. My dad is absolutely smiling down on us in approval. If there was one thing he couldn’t stand, it was being idle. He would always say, “do SOMETHNG” when he saw anyone just sitting around wasting time.
We did something dad, thanks for rewarding us with sunshine. Xoxo
My Dad and Mom
Like I said, He loved to dance.
A love story.