Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Vegan Mac 'n "Trees"

Even vegan moms try to sneak veggies into their kids' food! Pictured is a new recipe for Macaroni and "Trees".

My 4-year old affectionately calls broccoli 'baby trees' even though she doesn't show it much love! Neither does hubby, or the baby. So, I started testing this cheesy macaroni dish, first sneaking in green peas, and then 'baby trees'.

I again used Tinkyada's brown rice pasta, but used the Little Dreams shapes in this dish. The rice pasta doesn't fall apart as easily as pastas from other grains, and kids just love these silly shapes! But in case some of you need more serious food :(
...any small-shaped rice pasta works!


Melissa said...

I'm guessing you use some brand of vegan cheese to make this, right?

Dreena said...

Hi Melissa,

Yes, I use VeganRella, and I combine it with some other ingredients and seasonings - just because on its own I don't find VeganRella is enough to give that mac 'n cheese taste and texture. Even though I really like VeganRella, it's quite sticky for this kind of dish... plus I think it needs more seasoning. Still working on just the right mix...! :)

Maddy said...

Looks yummy!
Dreena, I am dropping off
Teany's book to you!

Dreena said...

Hey, thanks Madelyn, you're super! Can't wait!

juliehasson said...

That looks so delish Dreena! I can't wait for the chance to try it out :-). When is your next book coming out?

Tonight I'm making your baked ragout and shells. Does the sauce make enough for 2 batches of the baked recipe? So should I plan on freezing half of the ragout?

Thanks Dreena!


Harmonia said...


Oh! Question...which Vegan Cheese Sauces using Nutritional Yeast do you find are the best? Could we con you into posting a recipe of two for this? jw.


Melissa said...

Darn, I thought you did. I can't get vegan cheese where I live, except for the tofutti slices. I suppose I should order some online one of these days!

Dreena said...

Hey Julie!

You will definitely have extra sauce to freeze - about 2-3 cups. Not sure if you'll have quite enough for the same amount of sauce for another casserole, but you can use the extra sauce on its own just over rice, or plain pasta, or in a lasagna, etc. The casserole was not the original intent with the recipe... I put it together one evening with some of the ragout that I had leftover in the freezer, so that's why the yield doesn't work out for exactly two casseroles (though you could easily make a smaller casserole with less pasta).

The next book? Well, as much as I'd love to get it out next year, that's just not possible. I have too many recipes to create/retest, and so that's why I am happy to post a few new recipes here and there until the book is ready to go! Thanks for asking though1 :)

Dreena said...

Hi Harmonia! (Your new site design is lovely, by the way... very calming, I really like it.)

I haven't found too many nutritional yeast cheese sauces that we really dig. I usually like them, but my husband generally hates anything with nutritional yeast (certainly a large amount of it), and my daughter is off and on with it. So, I know there are a number in cookbooks and posted on different sites, but they don't go over well in our household - unfortunately.

This recipe needs several tweaks before it's ready, so I won't be able to post it anytime soon... sorry! :(

Dreena said...

Oh, Melissa, forgot to ask - have you tried getting any of your retailers (grocery store/health food store) to bring in some VeganRella or other vegan cheese? If they know you will be in to buy it regularly, they may do a special order for you... worth a try!

Harmonia said...

My blog service is upgrading for a few hours so I am surfing and catching up. Thanks for the response about the "Cheesy" sauce! That is what I am finding as well. Glad I am not the only one.

Thanks for the compliments on my new layout. Still not sure about the actual colors but I think some of the features are nice that I didn't have before.

Maddy said...

Hi Dreena - I made your
Chocolate P-Nut Butter Squares
this morning - they are fantastic
I used Bernard Callebaut chocolate.
I am going to freeze some of them
before the "yummy treat-detectives"
get home and eat all of them -
then I have some to slip into
their lunches!

Melissa said...

Are those the ones from Vive? If so, oh my god, those were so good!

Dreena, good idea! They all know I'm a regular at the health store near my house, maybe I'll ask them next time I see them. I did notice that when I asked about Tofutti, they started carrying more of the sour cream and cream cheese!

Dreena said...

Hey Madelyn... funny enough, I was going to post a pic for those this week since I made a batch last Fri or something, but I wasn't really happy with the image, so I am waiting to take another from the next batch I make. They don't last long around here either!

Glad you and Melissa both like them!!

btw - thanks for the loan of the Teany book, Madelyn, I had a hard time putting it down last night - quirky and odd, but interesting!

Melissa said...

I made a baked macaroni casserole from Table for Two by Joanne Stepaniak. It ended up kind of looking like yours, except not as orange. But it had the peas and broccoli and all that. I realised the resemblance as I was eating it! I guess I was subconsciously craving it!

Dreena said...

Hi Melissa... mmmm, sounds good! I guess the sauce was based on a nutritional yeast mixture? Funny how much impact visual images have, hey? Well, just look at all the food advertising out there.

What I don't understand is why grocery stores show pics of raw meat (chicken, ribs, steaks, etc) in their weekly flyers. Is raw meat really visually appealing to people? I mean, noone really finds raw meat appealing, do they... even the carnivorous types?!! I don't get that.

The Dooles said...

Hi Melissa,

I ran across your blog while looking for info on making my own gluten free pasta...Tinkyada has great pasta. Nice choice:-).

Have you ever researched the safety implications of giving soy products to children? Are there other cheese substitute options out there for dairy free people without subjecting them to soy?

Dreena said...

Hello Doole family, and welcome!

This particular mac 'n trees recipe does not have to contain soy. The cheese I use in the recipe is rice-based. I use non-dairy milk and a combination of other ingredients. So, you can choose to use soy, rice, or even oat milk. We don't eat soy in great amounts. In fact, most of the recipes in Vive le Vegan! are not soy-based. The entrees/soups, etc, are primarily grains and legumes, and the baked goods and desserts can be made with any choice of non-dairy milk (with the exception of a few desserts using soft or silken tofu). I discuss limiting soy in my book - not excluding it altogether, but not relying too heavily on it as some new vegetarians/vegan might.

I hope this addresses your question. (This is Dreena, by the way... but do check out Melissa's blog, it is a great one!)

Kudos to you for making your own pasta, by the way - impressive!