My Mom’s Macaroni Casserole was better than your mom’s. That’s just plain and simple fact. In most households, the very mention of macaroni casserole sends shudders down the spine: I see visions of condensed “Cream of Stuff” soup, cans of tuna, undercooked, or worse, over cooked celery and frozen peas or squares of weird pig by product. I shudder to think what you all went through! Vegan Mofoers, I am here to help erase the evil.
But, nostalgia be damned. Bacon is dead pigs and the dairy industry is some crazy sadistic shiz. Although I can’t say our house was exempt from exploiting beautiful, unjustly processed piggy-wigs, at least our casserole tasted better and its majesty is more easily replicated in a vegan friendly format. Which means my kids don’t need to be deprived of the excitement I felt hearing that ‘roni box a rattlin’. No sir. Time for some vegan junk food.
Winter food photography: it sucks. Usually I try to at least create a beautiful white light box in my….erm….upstairs bathroom…cough…shhh!!!!! But, frankly, we just joined the YMCA/YWCA and they offer evening childcare for spousal workouts, so this meal was a little rushed. Just as every junk food meal should be!
- 1 package wholegrain macaroni or other short pasta
- 1 can whole plum tomatoes, hand diced, juices reserved
- 1 cup crimini mushrooms, chopped
- 1 cup vegan cheese, shredded–Daiya is the best we’ve found: 1/2 cup mozzella style, 1/2 Pepperjack
- 4-8 slices vegan bacon, such as Yves Canadian, if you want that sought after bacon-y smell, or make some of Isa’s eggplant bacon
- salt and pepper, to taste
(It’s so darn easy, but it tastes so good!)
1. Preheat oven to 425ºF.
2. In a large stock pot, cook pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, sauté mushrooms in a bit of broth or white wine until just tender (alternately, if no one in your family is mushroom phobic, add to boiling pasta when there is just 2 minutes cooking time left.
3. Drain pasta (and perhaps mushrooms). Return to pot. Stir in mushrooms (if using) and tomatoes with juice. Salt and pepper to taste.
4. Now it comes down to taste. My Mom put ours in a very deep and giant casserole dish, which equated to a concentrated area of “cheese” and “bacon” on top and lots of tomato-y good pasta below. Our house takes picky to a new level, so I filled a 9″X”9 pyrex baking pan with just pasta and tomatoes, then mixed in the sautéed mushrooms into the remains of the pasta and put it all into 3 adorable ramikin-esque baking vessels. On the 9″X9″, I sprinkled the cheese and layered the veggie bacon. On the little ones, I just did bacon, cuz Daiya really does not have any nutritional value and mushrooms are delish.
If you don’t suffer from conflicting buds or nutritional morals in your home and you want every serving cheesy (with or without shroomies), just use a 9″X13″ lasagna pan and the upper quantity of bacon. Either way=yum!
5. Bake for 20 minutes and serve with exuberance.
SOURCE: My mommy, Janet McQuarrie