Let’s talk cheese sauce. After the huge success of my original Ultimate Cheese Sauce, magic in the kitchen happened again and my Sharp White Cheese Sauce was born. This one has been just as popular so far, which makes me do a happy dance, Elaine style (Seinfeld reference for all my fans out there). I love when I can create a healthy version of a traditionally unhealthy dish. No bloating for me! Ultimately it comes down to the fact that I love food, as if that wasn’t apparent, but furthermore I love good food. I only eat what tastes amazing, and when we made this diet change I was not going to settle for less than absolutely delicious. And I’m here to tell you that this new vegan white mac and cheese bake is definitely not less.
When I made this vegan sharp white cheese, I was trying to recreate this flavor from a mac and cheese at a favorite restaurant of ours. We were with some friends that ordered it and literally almost passed out from how good they said it was. The very first thing I thought was “I can make this, without all the unhealthy stuff.” Disclosure here, I had to try a bite in order to know what I was going for. I couldn’t create something I had never tried, but one bite was all it took for me to know for sure that it could be done. So off I went to make the impossible possible. I was going to create a creamy baked sharp white mac and cheese with a crispy topping all using vegetables, no oil, no dairy, and a gluten free topping. No pressure there!
I knew the sauce I could definitely do since I had my original vegan cheese sauce already solidified in the books. I simply used the white versions of the veggies from that sauce, and played with the different spices and seasonings. But making a baked pasta that stayed creamy and did not dry up, plus have noodles that were not mushy, was a challenge. Plus having a gluten free crispy topping without added oil or butter was not going to be easy. After a few trials with the sauce, I figured out how to keep this mac and cheese bake creamy and al dente. Done.
Now enter Manitoba Harvest and their email to me about partnering up for a post using their Hemp Hearts…I immediately knew what I was going to do. Hemp hearts, other than being one of my favorite things ever, have an amazing whole food fat content that when pulsed with things give the appearance of added oil or butter. Bake it and crispy magic happens. I use Hemp Hearts in my hemp almond parmesan all the time and it’s awesome! I knew this recipe needed those little bits of heaven for the crispy I was going for. Thank you Manitoba Harvest for this incredible product!! And although this post is sponsored by Manitoba Harvest, I have loved their products and used them long before they even know who I was, plus I only endorse things I love here. I have said no to many a companies even when they offer a nice payment to endorse their products. So everything said here is my unbiased opinion only.
This is the perfect main meal, holiday side, or “put stretchy pants on, sit on the couch and gorge” type of recipe. Not saying I do that, but you know, in case that’s your thing 😉 I’m happy to report that I have served this to our friends and they can not believe it has no dairy. This is my ultimate success. Like a magician plays tricks on the eyes, I play tricks on the palate. Your mouth says yes this is cheese…but I say it’s actually veggies mixed ever so carefully with other flavors to give you the illusion instead. Vegan white mac and cheese in disguise.
So, now your job is to experience this illusion. Leave a comment here, find me on Facebook or tag me on Instagram at veggiesdontbite #veggiesdontbite and tell me what you think. Better yet, serve it to your friends, family, guy off the street (no wait don’t do that, it could be dangerous) and DON’T tell them it isn’t dairy. If you really want a laugh, just leave it be. And every time they come over and tell you that they could NEVER give up dairy, giggle a bit because you know something they don’t 😉