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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.

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

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)

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.

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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