This post is long overdue. For a long time now I’ve wanted to share my version of dairy and egg free Mac-N-Cheese. When a Mom Vs. Food Allergy Facebook follower was wanting a recipe, I knew it was time to write this post. It was a perfect night for macaroni and cheese because we were having hamburgers, and those two all-American favorites go hand-in-hand. Let’s get cookin’….
Grab these ingredients…(minus the bananas in the background)
1 box pasta of your choice (rotini or macaroni is best)
3 T dairy free margarine (I use dairy & soy free Earth Balance)
1/2 C Rice Dream rice drink (or plain soy milk)
3/4 container Daiya Cheddar style wedge
1/2 to 1 tsp garlic SALT (different from picture. I used 1/2 tsp, but more wouldn’t hurt)
3 T dairy free margarine
3/4 C breadcrumbs (panko style is good and what I used this time)
1/4 container Daiya Cheddar style wedge
*For all ingredients, read labels carefully and more than once to ensure that they are safe for your unique allergy needs.
**A few notes on ingredients….the breadcrumbs are optional and the garlic powder (in the picture) is supposed to be garlic salt-and the garlic salt is necessary. That’s my secret ingredient. For some reason, the garlic salt takes the “fake cheese” taste away for me, and I’m totally down with that.
First, cook your macaroni or rotini (Nathan’s choice!) pasta, drain, and set aside. Next, melt your butter in the milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Medium-low heat is where you’ll stick this recipe out for awhile. It’s easy to scorch and we don’t want that.
After melting your butter in the rice milk, add the cubed Daiya Cheddar cheese and the garlic salt. Cubing the cheese before you put it in the milk mixture will allow it to melt faster and more evenly. Stir constantly with a wisk to keep it smooth. Keep it at medium-low heat. Be patient, it’s worth it.
Keep stirring until the cheese sauce is completely melted and smooth. Once melted, pour over cooked pasta style of choice and mix well. Pour mixture into greased casserole dish. You can stop here and serve it up at this point, or you can add a breadcrumb topping and bake in the oven.
If you’re going to add the topping, melt margarine in a medium skillet, or in the microwave. Once melted, mix in the breadcrumbs until they are evenly coated with margarine. I used Ian’s gluten-free breadcrumbs, but next time I think I’ll make my own because the Ian’s is a bit too crunchy.. We’re don’t have to eat gluten free, but it’s what I had. You can easily put safe bread in a food processor and make your own. It might help to toast your bread first before processing it so it doesn’t get soggy when mixed with the butter.
My grandmother always topped her macaroni and cheese with squares of cheese and melted it in the oven right before serving. Every time I have macaroni and cheese I think of this, and this time I decided to do the same. After sprinkling the breadcrumbs on top of the macaroni, cut up the remaining Daiya cheese and put on top.
Bake in oven at 325F for 10-12 minutes. Then, turn on your broiler to low and brown the top for 3-4 minutes. Watch it like a hawk so you don’t burn it! I did 3 minutes and it was plenty to make it golden brown.
This recipe is the absolute closest I’ve come to dairy-full mac-n-cheese. It took me a bit to get it perfect, but now it’s one of our favorite dishes. It even reheats nicely for leftovers at lunchtime the next day-if it makes it that far!
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