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Have you ever had an idea rattling around in your head that's a lil' strange and if executed could either be weird and gross or innovative and totally awesome?!
Well that's the deal with this recipe. For a while now I've wanted to dump chunky salsa over my mac n' cheese. Color me crazy, but it just seemed like a great idea. Of course getting up the nerve to actually do it (AND feed it to Scott) was a whole other story.
Maybe it was the mojitos, or the spirit of Memorial Day weekend... I don't know, but I tried it and hot damn! What a pay off.
The nice thing about this new take on an old favorite is the possibilities. I'm not just adding salsa to my pasta -- but a host of nutricious options. You can dump in vegetables like zuccihini, tomatoes and corn, stir in black beans for added protein or heat it up with a spicy salsa, hot sauce or chiles. Hell, even sliced black olives over top with some soyrizo (I have a fat-free recipe in my cookbook) or spicy seitan sausage could be KILLER.
To make Fiesta Mac n' Cheese add 1 to 1 1/2 cups chunky mild salsa to the cheese sauce after it's done cooking. (Note: although fruit salsas like peach and pineapple are damn tasty, I think they'd pretty gross here. Stick with traditional tomato-based salsas and keep the fruit salsas reserved for salsa chickpea wraps). NOM NOMINO!
A quick and easy vegan mac n' cheese that doesn't use tofu -- or fat! Miso can have soy in it, so be careful when selecting your miso if you have an allergy or dietary need (chickpea miso is soy-free!). You can also make this dish gluten-free by using brown rice macaroni.
1¼ cups whole wheat pasta, uncooked
1¼ cups nondairy milk
⅓ cup nutritional yeast
2 tbsp yellow miso paste
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp paprika
¼ tsp turmeric
3 tbsp cornstarch
Cook pasta according to directions, immediately drain, rinse with cold water and set aside. Whisk all remaining ingredients (plus salt and pepper to taste) together in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a near boil and turn heat down to low. Stirring occassionally, allow the sauce to thicken up. Combine with macaroni, stirring to coat. Garnish with smoked paprika if desired.