When I was a kid I was an ardent and vigorous carnivore. There, I said it. My grandma used to cook me my favourite meals, like tender beef steak or salmon and she would cut it into little pieces for me, because I was to small to cut it myself. I would be the happiest little girl when the butcher gave me a slice of sausage after shopping and I was a big big fan of bacon. Even when I started to eat less meat after I moved into my own flat, bacon was the ‘go-to-meat’ since there wasn’t a big fuss about prepping it. Preview: Not long after I moved out I became a semi-convinced vegetarian. Which means I was one, but wasn’t sure I would make it very far. If you had told me I would become a full-convinced vegan I wouldn’t have believed you, not a chance.
Day 2’s topic of Vegan Month of Food asks us to recreate a meal of our childhood. While I’m not really interested in adapting a meal like steak or fish there was one particular dinner I associate strongly with my past and I enjoyed very very much. It was some kind of Mac and Cheese with little bacon pieces and you put it straight from the freezer into the oven. We had it at least once a week and I was hooked on it. Even as I think about it now I can recall the feeling of joy when my grandma and I sat in front of the TV and shared those Maccharoni straight out of the cardboard box. Even though I’m not much of a Mac and Cheese fan (but still a big Tofu Bacon fan) now, I had a lot of fun coming up with my own healthier version of it.
With this recipe you certainly don’t have to feel guilty. I used spelt maccheroni instead of wheat pasta, which is rich in minerals and much better for your tummy. Also I couldn’t do it without at least a little bit of green in there. Broccoli is the perfect companion for creamy pasta but you can of course pretty much use any veggie you fancy. The tofu bacon is as flavorful as real bacon can be after you marinate it in some soy sauce, mustard and spices and can be used not just for this recipe. I like to put it in salads, on sandwiches or in stir fries.
250 g spelt maccheroni
150 g smoked tofu
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 pinch of sea salt, pepper, smoked paprika and chilli
150 g broccoli
2 cloves of garlic
3 tablespoon vegan butter
1,5 tablespoon flour
300 ml soy milk
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 pinch of salt, pepper, curcuma and nutmeg
2 tablespoon cream
100 g grated vegan cheese
3 tablespoon breadcrumbs
1. Cut the tofu into small cubes. Prepare the marinade by combining the mustard, soy sauce and spices and mix the tofu and marinade in a bowl. Leave in the fridge until needed.
2. Bring water to a boil and cook pasta a few minutes less than told in the description.
3. Wash the broccoli and slice into small pieces.
4. Roast the garlic with the peel still on in a pan without oil while turning them over a couple of times. They are done when burnt outside. Peel them and mash them with a fork.
5. Fry the tofu cubes in some oil until cross.
5. Warm the milk in a small pot. Melt the butter in another pot and add the flour. Stir until well combined and let it boil for a few minutes. Then slowly add the warm milk in a thin stream while keep whisking. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes. Then mix in the mustard, nutritional yeast, spices, cream, grated cheese, chopped chives and mashed garlic. Set aside.
6. Preheat the oven to 200 °C. Mix the pasta, tofu, broccoli and sauce in a big bowl. Transfer to a baking pan, top it with the breadcrumbs and put it into the oven for about 25 to 30 minutes.