Matts Macaroni (Faux) Cheese

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When we were dating Matt use to make me the most delicous macaroni cheese, sometimes adding peas, asparagus, broccoli or simply just keeping it cheesy. I was never the biggest cheese fan... don't get me wrong a bit of cheese on my pizza, or slice of cheese on toast very occasionally did take my fancy, but hell that macaroni cheese just got me.

Since being vegan I thought I'd miss that dish, but since finding this Jamie Oliver recipe which Matt has adapted and varied to our tastes is the BOMB.

Ingredients

500g Dried Macaroni
100g Tender stem Broccoli or Asparagus
120g Petit Pois
50g Vegan Cheese
1 Onion
1 Clove of Garlic
2 teaspoons of Vegan Bouillon Powder
1 litre of un-sweetened Soya milk
100g dairy-free butter
85g Plain Flour
1 heaped teaspoon english mustard
1 1/2 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 a bunch of fresh thyme
Olive Oil
Stale tiger roll made into crumbs with a food processor.
Pepper and Salt

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 C/ 350 F/ Gas 4. 

Cook the macaroni according to the packet instructions in a large pan of salted water, add the peas and tender stem broccoli after 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel and halve the onion, place in a small pan on medium heat with the milk. Slowly bring to the boil, then remove from the heat. Pick out the and discard the onion, then set aside. Melt the margarine in another pan over a medium heat, then add the flour, stirring continuously until it forms a paste - this is the roux. Gradually add the warm milk a little at a time, whisky continuously until smooth. Bring to the boil, then simmer for around 10 minutes or until thickened. Stir in the mustard and nutritional yeast flakes, grate and stir in the vegan cheese then season to taste with the salt and pepper.

Drain and add the macaroni to the sauce then toss the mixture and coat. Transfer the mixture to a large baking dish then set aside.

Add breadcrumbs to the top, with the grated vegan cheese, drizzle with high quality olive oil then bake until golden brown and bubbling at the edges.
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Peanut butter cookies

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 These cookies should come with a warning! They are just far too mourish.

Makes 18 cookies

Ingredients
275g peanut butter
125g dairy-free butter or margarine
140g maple syrup
85g caster sugar
70g brown sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
240g plain flour



Preheat your oven to 160c/ 325f/ gas 3 and line your trays with some greaseproof paper.

In a large bowl, cream together all of the ingredients, except the flour. Once mixed slowly add the flour to the mixture and stir until just combined. Form about 18 balls of dough - you may need to flour your hands if the mixtures a little too sticky, place on the prepared trays, leaving  a couple of inches between them, allowing room for them to spread as they cook. Press the balls down with your hand or the back of a spoon.

Bake for about 15 minutes. As you remove the trays from the oven, allow for them to cool on a wire rack for a couple of minutes - before removing the cookies from the sheet and allowing to cool fully.

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four

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Thursday not only marked the Queens 90th birthday but it was also the fourth year of my big fluffy best friends existence. I can't quite believe that he has been in our lives for over 4 years, it feels like longer and shorter all at the same time (like all the best things do!)



I still remember the day that my friend Sally and I went and picked him up, the picture above is off him playing with his sister, so boisterous, cheeky and fun only seven weeks old and just a bit bigger then the size of my hand. When we got him home, he was strutting around the lounge and as soon as you picked him up he would instantly get cosy and fall asleep, on my chest, nook of my neck, laying down the front of my leg as my feet rested on a stool.


Even if he can be a moody little monster, crying and scratching on our doors at 4 AM,  he's my absolute favorite handsome little devil and I wouldn't change him for the world.

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