Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Recipe Rave Review: Crock Pot Momma - Smoky Mac & Cheese



I love macaroni and cheese.  I mean, L.O.V.E. While my counterpart, Nicolle likes hers straight and cheesy {Note from Nic: I like to say that I'm just a M&C purist}, I often like to add some veggies to that cheesy goodness.  Broccoli, yes.  Grilled onion, yes.  Zucchini or mushroom, yes.  I mean, I am pretty open.  However, after polling my TH he opted for grilled onion, smoky mac and cheese... so he got it!

As per usual, I went to my Vegan Slow Cooker to see finally try out Kathy Hester's recipe for Smoky Mac and Cheese. I had been dying to try out this bad boy and was really excited to see it was only going to take me only 1-2 hours!

First I had to solve some serious internal conflicts; whether or not to use vegan cheese.  I had already decided to go with almond milk, but really have an aversion to vegan cheese.  Plus, as good as I am sneaking in vegan food past the TH, I had quite a bit of cheese already in my fridge and sort of wanted to get rid of it.  Alas, I decided to go only semi-vegan on this recipe (please don't judge too harshly).

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of nondairy milk (like almond milk)
  • 2 TBSP vegan flavored chicken-flavored bouillon ( I used vegetarian as per usual)
  • 8 OZ dried whole wheat macaroni
  • 2 cups shredded vegan cheddar cheese (or Vermont extra sharp cheddar if you are me)
  • 1 cup shredded vegan mozzarella cheese (or regular animal cheese if  you are me)
  • 1/4 TSP to 1/2 TSP liquid smoke
  • 1/2 TSP Cajun seasoning (optional, I used chili powder)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
To start, oil your slow cooker then toss in all the ingredients into the slow cooker, stirring to combine.  Then cook on high for 1 to 1.5 hours or until the pasta is al dente.  Kathy suggests stirring every 20 to 30 minutes.  If you don't use whole wheat pasta, and opt for a simple white carb, then it will cook faster and needs to be checked around 45 minutes in... no one wants mushy pasta!


While the pasta cooked and I stirred each twenty minutes and set the table, grilled some onions for a topper, steamed some organic broccoli... heck I even folded a load of laundry!  It amazes me how much you can get done in 90 minutes.


When I checked the final time, I almost passed out as the bubbling, brown goodness starting to grow around the edges..that is my favorite part!  I scooped a heaping helping onto my TH's plate and topped with grilled onions.  I gave him a side of broccoli and he was good to go.  As for me, I laid the foundation of broccoli then layered the mac with onions sprinkled atop the cheesy mountain of goodness. Oh yeah baby! With each bite I was transported to my Geena's kitchen sitting at her counter and woofing down her latest creation.  I had done it again, Crock Pot Momma sees nothing but success!

Not quite done....
Dinner is served! YUM!



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2 comments:

  1. Yes!!! I am SO making this. Looks amazing Em.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ashely,

      I can't wait to hear how it goes! I know from first hand tastings that you are quite good at recreating the Crock Pot Momma's recipes, good for you!

      Strive to thrive,
      Em

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