Last week I featured a vegan cookbook giveaway and a recipe, and I’m excited to be doing more of the same this week! This one is The Main Street Vegan Academy Cookbook, written by Victoria Moran and JL Fields. What’s awesome about this cookbook is that it features a variety of recipes from Main Street Vegan Academy coaches around the world. These coaches offer helpful tips alongside many of the recipes, which I find extremely helpful for when you’re making a recipe for the first time. I also love learning about ingredients, especially ones I don’t use often, and I think it’s great information to be able to pass along to others.
The Main Street Vegan Academy Cookbook begins with debunking some common myths about veganism. It’s not a diet or cult, anyone can be vegan regardless of their background, and vegans aren’t always alike (but that isn’t a bad thing). These facts help welcome diversity in the vegan community, which I believe is exactly what this cookbook is all about. I think for veganism to keep growing it’s important to listen to voices from all kinds of people, because there really isn’t one clear image of what a vegan is “supposed” to look like.
Flipping through the pages of this cookbook makes me feel immediately inspired. It features a lot of recipes I don’t see very often in cookbooks and a handful of ones I haven’t tried before. It’s refreshing to see so many creative dishes, unique cooking techniques, and flavor combos that the different coaches have developed over the years. I’m excited to share the recipe for the Veggie Mac straight from the cookbook in this post, too! I made it at home and found it not only super easy, but I was also pleasantly surprised at how good a vegetable-based cheese sauce can be. If you enjoyed this recipe, don’t forget to head over to my Instagram after 12/19 and enter to win one of two copies of your own!
This vegan mac and cheese was inspired by a popular recipe from the online site of the iconic vegan magazine VegNews. My version honors the original by using vegetables as its base but is free of oil or dairy substitutes, achieving creamy deliciousness via nuts and seeds. This mac offers all the indulgent comfort you’d expect, but since it’s made from whole plant foods, you can feel extra good about going back for seconds.
- 2 cups diced peeled russet or Yukon gold potatoes
- 2/3 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup diced carrot
- 2 cups water
- 2/3 cup raw cashews
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more for the pasta cooking water
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 pound vegan elbow macaroni
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat for the pasta
2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the potatoes, onion, carrot, and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, cover, and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.
3. Combine the cashews, garlic, tahini, mustard, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, salt, and garlic powder in the jar of a highspeed blender or food processor. When the veggie mixture is finished cooking, add it (water included) to the blender. Place a towel over the blender and puree on high speed until completely smooth. (The sauce will be very thick, so have your tamper ready if using a Vitamix.)
4. Once the large pot of water has reached a rolling boil, throw in a fistful of salt and add the pasta. Cook according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain the pasta and return it to the large pot. Pour in the sauce and stir to combine.
Nut-Free Option: Substitute 2/3 cup soaked raw sunflower seeds for the cashews. Gluten-Free Option: Use gluten-free pasta
A huge thank you to Main Street Vegan Academy and BenBella Books for letting me feature this wonderful cookbook (including this Veggie Mac recipe) on my blog. I’d love to hear in the comments below if you try making it for yourself!