For as long as I can remember, I have loved cooking. One of my favorite things to make when I was a young teen was pasta with a homemade cheese sauce and sauteed zucchini. I would make it all the time. Something was amazing about making that white sauce. Fat and flour, adding in the milk to make the smoothest sauce, cheese, voila!
I was reminded of that favorite meal tonight. See, as an adult for some time now, I've toggled back and forth between eating exclusively vegetarian or vegan. I went the vegan route again in 2018 and have been strictly meat and dairy-free, with the occasional egg and seafood thrown in for good measure. However, this makes macaroni and cheese a challenge. There are many great vegan cheese options out there now, but I still have struggled to find the best cheese sauce recipe that isn't cheese until tonight.
A while back, I found a frozen mac and cheese that I had not seen before. It was Chao Mac and Cheese. I tried it and loved it. It had a great texture for a frozen mac, and the cheese flavor was yummy. Of course, after finding it once, I never found it again. Then, I discovered that Chao Shreds were a thing, so I figured someone had come up with a recipe using these shreds. Sure enough, this morning, I found this blog, The Vegan Hippie. The recipe followed the same method as my old favorite—standard white sauce with typical replacements and Chao shreds as the cheese option. I got to work. Made my roux, almond milk added slowly, lots of whisking, shreds melted in, and a few tablespoons of nutritional yeast. It was the best mac and cheese I've made in the past several years that is non-dairy. I'm so excited to have an indulgent option when I want something creamy and savory for a side or for a whole meal!