Gluten free, vegan, low FODMAP mac n’ cheese

February 15, 2018

Whenever I’m feeling sorry for my FODMAP self, I think of the low FODMAP vegans. As a general rule, vegans (or the vegans I see on Instagram, please forgive me) seem to eat a lot of fruit, and a lot of legumes – both heavily restricted on the FODMAP diet. If I couldn’t rely on eggs, cheese, and the odd bit of fish, I don’t know where I would be. A whole lot crankier than I currently am, at the very least.

So, when I set out to create a FODMAP mac n’ cheese, I knew it had to be vegan. A token of appreciation for my FODMAP vegan friends, if you will. A lot of vegan mac n’ cheese recipe that I’ve come across rely heavily on cashews and cauliflower, neither of which are particularly FODMAP friendly. Besides, even if cashews were the friendliest FODMAP in the world, ain’t nobody got time for soaking cashews when they’re in the mood for mac n’ cheese.

This mac n’ cheese is vegan, gluten free, FODMAP friendly, easily nut free, and whipped up in about 15 minutes. You can bake it, eat it straight out of the pot, or even use the sauce for lasagne, a vegie bake, or (from personal experience) a toast spread. So damn good.

FOR THE VEGAN MAC:

300g gluten free pasta (I used a rice and amaranth blend)
3 1/2 cups of plant based milk (see notes)
6 tablespoons vegan butter substitute (see notes)
6 tablespoons gluten free cornflour
6 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons sea salt

NOTES:

I have tried this recipe about 12,540 times, mostly because I enjoy eating it. A few takeaway notes:

  • Almond milk and soy milk work the best – soy gives a creamier texture, but you get a slight soy aftertaste. Use it to keep the mac nut free, but almond milk reigns supreme in this instance
  • I have tried this with vegan butter (which was made of coconut oil, tapioca flour, and turmeric) Nuttelex, and Nuttelex ‘creamy’
  • I found the vegan butter and Nuttelex ‘creamy’ to be best – regular Nuttelex still works and is still delicious, but it leaves a distinct aftertaste
  • If you have a favourite vegan butter and it is FODMAP friendly, it should work here
  • 2 teaspoons of salt seems like a lot, but it helps to create a ‘cheesy’ taste. I found that 2 1/2-3 was more cheesy, but it is a lot of salt so I cannot condone it for others
  • Nutritional yeast is found at health food stores, but I highly recommend buying it (in bulk) online if you can’t find it – it is an amazing cheese replacement, and a lot of them are fortified with vitamin B12
  • I have tested this recipe on non-vegans, non-FODMAPpers and non gluten-free-ers to great success (at least they said they liked it)

METHOD:

  1. Heat a large pot of salted water over a high heat until it reaches boiling point. Add your pasta, and cook as per packet instructions – leave it a little bit underdone if you intend to make a mac n’ cheese bake. Drain, and reserve a little starchy pasta water to add to the cheesy sauce.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, place a medium pot over a high heat. Measure out all your ingredients separately for smooth sailing – the milk, cornflour, nutritional yeast and salt (they can sit together) and the vegan butter.
  3. Add the vegan butter to the pan, and allow it to melt completely and begin to bubble. Add the cornflour (it should sizzle!) and, depending on the butter substitute you are using (when I used the coconut oil based one it didn’t solidify so quickly, but when I used Nuttelex it became a paste immediately) allow the mixture to firm up, and add the milk as soon as it does. Turn the heat down immediately, and use a whisk to create a smooth roux. Once you have whisked out any lumps, add the nutritional yeast and salt, and continue whisking gently, until the sauce is golden in colour and thickened. Take it off the heat just before it becomes ‘thick thick’ and add the pasta and pasta water (1/4 cup max) mixing thoroughly to combine. From here, you can consume as is, or spread into a baking tray, and grill for about 10 minutes, or until the top is crunchy. If you’re feeling extravagant, you can top it with some easy, vegan, nut free parmesan, found HERE.

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