Thursday, October 23, 2008

Vegan MoFo #23: Macaroni & Sleaze with Caramelized Carrots & Onions

Today was one of those raw October days when you're forcibly reminded that winter is right around the corner; to make matters worse, I think I'm getting a cold, and it was Wednesday. What, you ask, is so bad about Wednesday? Well, it's not so much "bad" as it is The Most Cluttered Day of the week, and today was no exception, even though the clutter was all composed of cool stuff (good class, interesting colloquium, tea party with fellow students, etc.). So when I crawled in the door at 5.30pm after nine hours of unrelenting intellectual stimulation, I was A. hungry, B. in need of comfort food, and C. not at all sure I felt like cooking anything. But I put on my thinking cap and managed to whip up something that turned out pretty well. With a side of roasted walnuts, sweet potatoes and salad greens with generous lashings of Annie's, I mean "Goddess"...Dressing, this made for a happy tummy and a positive attitude at the end of a long day. In a perfect world, your local liquor store will be having a sale on Folonari Pink Pinot Grigio (I am not making this up), featuring a label with a Legally Blonde cartoon girl walking a pink poodle (I tell you, I am NOT making this up) for $4.58 (see previous paranthetical comments in re: NOT MAKING THIS UP), which will provide a "fun, fruity and fabulous" complement to your meal, as well as a "pink twinkle in the glass and a tingle on the tongue" (I'm not telling you again). Add the entire series of Slings & Arrows on DVD and things are definitely looking up!

Macaroni & Sleaze with Caramelized Carrots & Onions

The Sauce

~ 2 tbsp. Earth Balance or other vegan margarine
~ 1 tbsp. flour
~ 2 cups plain, unsweetened soy milk
~ 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
~ 1 tsp. each: salt, thyme, sage
~ 1/2 tsp. each: paprika, hot sauce (or 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper)
~ Fresh black pepper

~ In a saucepan, melt the margarine; add the flour and stir for a minute or so to form a roux.
~ Add 1/2 cup of the soy milk ad stir to combine.
~ Add the seasonings and nutritional yeast, then gradually add the remaining soy milk, stirring constantly until the sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat and set aside.

The Carrots & Onions

~ 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
~ 3 cups chopped onions
~ 1 cup diced carrots
~ Salt & pepper to taste

~ In a skillet or non-stick wok (my favorite cooking vessel), heat the oil over medium-high heat and add the carrots.
~ Cook for a minute or two before adding the onions, salt, and pepper. Stir thoroughly to combine, cover, and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are nice and brown.

The Pasta:

~ This is the easy part: cook 1/2 lb. pasta of your choice (I used whole wheat elbows) according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

The Garnish:

1/2 cup whole wheat panko crumbs, combined with 1 tbsp. melted Earth Balance and about 1 tsp. paprika.

The Assembly:

~ Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
~ Combine the cooked pasta, sauce and caramelized onion/carrot mixture and pour into a greased casserole dish or deep-dish pie plate.
~ Top with the panko mixture and bake uncovered for 20 minutes, until the topping is golden and the pasta is bubbling.
~ Allow to cool at least 15-20 minutes before serving.


  1. Your day sounds crazy, but not bad..a tea party, really? How cool! But I wouldn't feel like cooking after all that either. You came out shining with that dinner.

  2. Yes, a tea party! My advisor has instituted a "graduate tea" in her office after colloquia, so we can eat cookies and chat about stuff concerning (or not) our work, the program, etc. She's an amazingly helpful person and a brilliant scholar, so it's well worth attending, even if you *are* coming down with something (which I definitely am; I feel like crud today)!

  3. Haha I would like a tinkle and tingle of Pink Pinot Grigio please!

    And now, you're tagged!

    I don't think anyone has gotten you yet, so there you go, a nice easy mofo post that doesn't involve cooking.

  4. sniff. I miss nutritional yeast!