Cheese”burger” Mac & Cheese
When I first went vegetarian, I thought I could just make up a box of something and just leave out the meat – then I started reading labels and realized how so not healthy that option was. With that I started experimenting to see what “out of the box” options I could come up with that would have the same great taste but healthier (i.e. less sodium). It took a bit of time until I could figure out the right method, but now I have down to a science! Even better, this dish can be adapted for vegans and all cooks up in one pot. The one pot paste took a bit of time to get used to but the trick is to add less water than you think as seriously much easier to add more water later than to eat a soggy mess (trust me).
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 vidalia onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 tbsp Italian seasonings
1 cup seitan crumbles
1/2 lb elbow pasta
1 1/2 cups water
2 cups tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup shredded extra sharp cheese
- Preheat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook for 10 minutes, then add the Italian seasonings and cook for an additional 5 minutes - stirring to prevent sticking/burning.
- Add the seitan along with the pasta and water and bring to a boil.
- Cook for 10 minutes, then turn heat to low add the tomatoes and the shredded cheese. Keep stirring until the cheese melts. Add a bit of milk if too dry, give a final stir and keep on low heat for a final 5 minutes.
- Serve and Enjoy!
Vegan Option: sub the cheddar cheese with Daiya meltables
For an added crunch, add some fresh spinach at the very end – or some kale! To add an extra punch, I used tomato pasta which also gave the dish a fantastic shade of red. I’m a huge fan of flavored pastas, especially ones that I don’t have to make myself, even if I know they aren’t as healthy as they might advertise to be. All the flavors of a cheeseburger, minus the meat!