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BLT Mac & Cheese

BLT Mac & Cheeze

BLT Mac & Cheeze! Do I have your attention? If it’s summer and you have a garden, or a CSA, or just want to use some in-season produce from the grocery, maybe you can relate to the challenge of Too Many Tomatoes (though, really, can you have too many?). After moving to Omaha, I began growing tomatoes and looked for any reason to put them in everything. And so BLT Mac was born. I made the “B” out of eggplant (remember: vegans will make bacon out of anything). For the “L,” arugula is always prolific in the garden, plus I love its muskiness, which goes perfectly with the bright and smoky flavors of the other ingredients.

FOR THE CHEEZE
1 cup cashews, soaked in water for at least 2 hours or overnight
1 cup vegan vegetable broth
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons onion powder
Salt and freshly ground
black pepper

FOR THE BLT MAC
8 ounces small shell pasta or macaroni
(gluten-free, whole wheat, or any type)
4 cups baby arugula
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
(or chopped regular tomatoes)
1 recipe Eggplant Bacon
(see Vegan with a Vengeance page 152)


TO MAKE THE CHEEZE:
Drain the cashews and place with all the sauce ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend away until completely smooth. Scrape down the sides with a spatula to make sure you get everything. Depending on the strength of your blender, this could take from 1 to 5 minutes. Taste for salt and pepper, keeping in mind that you want it just a little saltier than you think because it’s going to be poured over all of the other ingredients.

TO MAKE THE BLT MAC:
Prepare the pasta according to the package directions. When the pasta is tender, drain it in a colander. Immedi-ately place it back in the pot you boiled it in and stir in the sauce. Place the pot on low heat and stir for 3 min-utes or so, until the sauce is thickened a bit and everything is deliciously creamy. Taste for salt again.
Now toss in the arugula, tomatoes, and eggplant bacon, leaving a little extra aside to garnish, if you like.

Reproduced with permission from Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz 2015



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