This easy, delicious vegan mac ‘n’ cheese is made with a creamy cauliflower and cashew based sauce. It’s topped with unsweetened shredded coconut that has been infused with smoke flavour. A truly unique recipe from a fantastic recipe book, Great Vegan BBQ Without A Grill.
What’s Great Vegan BBQ Without A Grill All About?
Vegan. BBQ. No grill required. If that’s not a neat little niche, I don’t know what is. This book is absolutely LOADED with 75 yummy recipes. As I was looking through the book I tagged a bunch of recipes to try…like, A LOT! You almost have to do a double take because a lot of the recipes look like their ‘meat’ counterpart, but nope! Every recipe comes with the most beautiful photo and you’re probably gonna feel like you want to lick the page…not that I’d ever do that, lol.
This one is written by mother and daughter team, Linda and Alex Meyer of the blog Veganosity who have a love of bbq. Once they decided they wanted to enjoy a vegan lifestyle, they knew they didn’t want to give up their favourite foods so they adapted them. Genius, right??
The recipe details are well laid out and easy to follow. Plus, there’s a nice little description along with each. What more could you want?
What’s Covered in Great Vegan BBQ Without A Grill?
The Sections are organized as follows:
- Meat-Free BBQ to Satisfy Meat Eaters
- Burgers and Sandwiches: From Way Up North to The Deep South
- Stick Food: Because Eating Food Off A Stick Is Fun!
- Stuffed, Foiled and Smothered: Delectable Entrees for a Cozy Dinner
- Sides and Salads that Go With A Barbecue
- BBQ Dips to Bring to the Party
- Keeping It Saucy: BBQ Sauces and Rubs
I did notice that a fair number of recipes use jackfruit. What is jackfruit, you ask? Jackfruit is a sweet fruit, typically grown in India, and is widely used in lot of vegan and vegetarian dishes. You can buy it already prepared (i.e. in a can and ready to use). Unfortunately, this is not something that I’ve seen around here so I question the availability of it for many people. I have to source that out because the recipes that do use it look phenomenal!
In order to give the recipes a ‘grilled’ flavour liquid smoke is used a lot. I don’t normally go for liquid smoke, but did use it in my recipe testing and it totally surprised me! It really added a lovely smokiness. If you don’t want to use it, the authors mention that you can use smoked paprika in lieu of liquid smoke, but it won’t give exactly the same flavour.
Vegan Mac ‘n’ Cheese with a Creamy Cauliflower Cashew Sauce
For my review, I’m sharing this recipe for a smoky vegan mac ‘n’ cheese with coconut bacon. This recipe was super simple to prepare and I was absolutely amazed at how delicious and creamy the cauliflower and cashew based sauce was.
The recipe yields plenty for four servings. As it is only hubby and I in our home, we did have leftovers. While the leftovers were yummy, I would suggest enjoying this recipe upon making it. Like most mac ‘n’ cheese recipes, it’s creamiest when it’s fresh and the coconut bacon is it’s crispiest. Speaking of which, coconut bacon??
Basically, unsweetened shredded coconut is tossed with liquid smoke and toasted in the oven. It’s used as a topping for the mac ‘n’ cheese (along with bread crumbs) and really gives it a smoky, ‘grilly’ flavour. The recipe called for one cup of coconut mixed with two tablespoons of liquid smoke. When I make this again, I will probably use half the amount of each. A little went a long way (for me, at least).
Other Noteworthy Recipes
Where to start…there are a lot!
- Texas BBQ Brisket on page 26
- Beer Braised Pulled Pork on page 30
- Sizzling Mushroom Burgers with Horseradish Pesto on page 50
- Teriyaki BBQ Meatloaf on page 98
- Spicy Grilled Corn on the Cob with Cilantro Avocado Sauce on page 118
- Charred Poblano Pepper Guacamole on page 153
- Have-It-Your-Way Chipotle Barbecue Sauce on page 162
- Sweet Home Alabama White BBQ Sauce on page 165
Should Great Vegan BBQ Without A Grill be on your Bookshelf?
YES!! While some people prefer not to call food by other names than what they are (like tofu ‘steak’ or jackfruit ‘pork’) I don’t care what I call it. To me, it’s just plain delicious! No doubt, if you are a meat lover, vegetarian, or vegan, you are sure to find something that will tickle those taste buds and make your belly do a happy dance. If you are still not convinced, just look through the book. The stunning pictures will convince you otherwise.
Hope you get a chance to try this vegan mac n cheese! It’s a lovely mix up from what you probably grew up with like me.
P.S. If you think this vegan mac ‘n’ cheese will make your belly happy too, please be sure to hit that little Pin button down below. Many thanks, you guys! XO
Smoky Vegan Mac-n-Cheese
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 2 tbsp liquid smoke
- 3 cups water
- 1/2 head cauliflower -chopped into small florets
- 1/2 cup raw cashews -soaked overnight in 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- juice of half a lemon
- 1 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 lb cavatappi noodles
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 green onions -chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Mix the coconut flakes with liquid smoke and spread them evenly on a lined baking sheet. Bake the coconut for approximately 7 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove them from the oven and then set aside.
- Boil the water in a small pot. Once boiling, add the cauliflower and boil for 15 minutes. Drain the cooked cauliflower and place in a high-speed blender or food processor. Drain and rinse the cashews, and add to the food processor with the almond milk and lemon juice, then blend on high until smooth and creamy. Add the nutritional yeast, garlic, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper to the cashew crew and blend until well incorporated into the cashew-cauliflower mixture. Set aside.
- Cook the pasta according the package instructions. Mix in the cashew-cauliflower mixture and pour into a baking dish. Combine the olive oil and breadcrumbs together and sprinkle on top of the noodles.
- Set the oven to broil, place the mac 'n' cheese on the top rack of the oven and broil for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs turn golden brown. Serve by topping the mac 'n' cheese with the coconut bacon and green onions.
Title: Great Vegan BBQ Without A Grill
Authors: Linda and Alex Meyer
Publisher: Page Street Publishing Company
Acknowledgement: Excerpted from Great Vegan BBQ Without A Grill. Copyright © 2018 Linda and Alex Meyer. Published by Page Street Publishing Company . Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.
Copyright: Copyright © 2018 Linda and Alex Meyer
Published by: Page Street Publishing Company
Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.
Disclosure: I received a review copy of Great Vegan BBQ Without A Grill by Linda and Alex Meyer, but not otherwise compensated. All opinions, as usual, are my own.