Cajun Mac ‘n’ Cheese

 

 This dish started out with me staring into my crisper drawer at a bag of okra that I’ve had sitting, neglected, in there for a little too long. I had never cooked it, myself; just enjoyed it in gumbos from Disneyland and Doomie’s. But, a couple of weeks ago I had seen Kristy from Keepin’ It Kind’s post on roasting okra; that way it doesn’t get super slimy. So, I looked around some more and found a lonesome red onion and some red bell peppers in desperate need of being roasted. I through them together on a baking sheet and while they were roasting, I contemplated what I would use them in.

Soup? Eh, I don’t know if I have everything for a good soup. I look in the pantry, OH! Fall-themed pasta noodles made from durum wheat! Well, this goes along with my month of grains theme for Vegan MoFo. Since I had some Daiya Cheddar shreds tucked away, I decided that it was time for some sort of macaroni and cheese hybrid mess. Now, we have Cajun Mac ‘n’ Cheese! Not bad for using a bunch of ingredients that I may have ended up throwing out otherwise. ;)

The rest of this Friday has been used up making a Shepherd’s Pie for the cookbook which is seriously so good- and changing out the bulbs in my headlights! Oddly enough one went out right after the other, and thank goodness for YouTube, I was able to find a video that helped me change them out myself. Especially since the owner’s manual doesn’t give any information. Hmmph. So, today has been victorious and I have too much food hanging out in my fridge. Who wants to come by and help me with some of it? :D

One Year Ago: Raw Veggie Wrap with Lentil Zucchini Tortilla

Cajun Mac 'n' Cheese

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 6

Serving size: ⅙ of Recipe

Calories: 400

Fat: 13g

Comforting mac 'n' cheese with Cajun spice and flavors!
Ingredients
  • 2½ C. Okra, Sliced into Coins
  • 2 C. Red Bell Peppers, Chopped
  • 1 C. Red Onion, Chopped
  • 1 Small Jalapeño, Diced
  • 1 tsp. Olive Oil
  • 3 C. Dried Noodles (whichever shape you prefer)
  • Water
  • ½ C. Cooked Chickpeas
  • 1½ C. Daiya Cheddar Shreds
  • 1 C. Non-Dairy Milk
  • 2 Tbsp. Vegan Margarine
  • 2 Tbsp. Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 tsp. Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tsp. Liquid Smoke
  • ⅛ tsp. Cayenne Pepper
  • Salt & Pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 375ºF, toss the okra, red bell pepper, red onion and jalapeño in together with the olive oil in a large bowl. Then spread them out into a single layer on a baking sheet.
  2. Bake for 15 mins. then mix the pieces around and bake for another 10-15 minutes.
  3. While the veggies are roasting, get a large pot ready with 1½ Quarts of water (or more if necessary), lightly salt it and bring it to a boil.
  4. In a small pot, melt together the daiya shreds, non-dairy milk, margarine, nutritional yeast, paprika, liquid smoke and cayenne pepper over medium heat. It will be easier to coat your noodles if you mix the "cheese" sauce in a separate pot.
  5. When the water is boiling, pour the noodles in and cook for the recommended time (mine was 7-9 minutes), stirring occasionally so that they do not stick together.
  6. Set the cheese sauce pot to low-medium heat and continue to stir until it melds into one consistency.
  7. Drain the noodles and rinse with cold water.
  8. Keep the heat at low-medium for the noodle pot, and add the roasted veggies and chickpeas to the noodles.
  9. Pour the cheese sauce over the top, and gently stir it into the noodles. Add more non-dairy milk if you would like a creamier texture, and season with salt and pepper to your liking.
Notes
Potassium: 356mg Vitamin A: 36.7% Vitamin C: 125.5% Calcium: 10.9% Iron: 13.3% All nutrition facts are approximate.

I also have another recipe for mac ‘n’ cheese with a twist, Mexican Mac and Cheese! Which is also very delicious. I’ll need to make another pumpkin mac and cheese recipe though, for the sake of my health. :D

What are some of your favorite add-ins for mac and cheese? Also, do you have any experience with Okra?

14 Comments

Filed under Savory Recipes, Vegan MOFO!

14 Responses to Cajun Mac ‘n’ Cheese

  1. What a creative twist on mac and cheese! I love adding veggies to my make and cheese and this recipe sounds great!

    • Jackie @ Vegan Yack Attack!

      Me too! I’ve been adding tomatoes and more onions to my leftovers to change it up a little bit. Yum!

  2. Oh boy. I don’t even really like pasta and I’ve seen so many mac and cheese recipes but this one really stands out. I feel like most dishes would benefit from a bit of spice :)

  3. I love that you added okra to it. Looks like my kind of mac and cheese.

  4. I never use okra because it’s so hard to find over here. But I think I’ll start hunting for some because that mac and cheese looks so wonderful. I really love mac and cheese with vegetables.

    • Jackie @ Vegan Yack Attack!

      Even if you can’t find okra, I would highly suggest that you try this out. Let me know how it goes if you do! :)

  5. Yes! Roasted Okra! This sounds friggin awesome! Thank you for the link, too. :-)

  6. I love this take on mac n’ cheese! The okra is a nice touch =)

  7. I’m so intrigued with this mac and cheese – the combination of flavors and ingredients and the array of colors is amazing. I’m featuring this post in today’s Food Fetish Friday (with a link-back and attribution as always). Thanks for continuing to inspire me with your creations…

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