Mac and cheese is one of my favorite comfort foods, so when I became vegan in 2013, I began adapting familiar recipes. Some ways of making this favorite food are more complicated, but this 4-ingredient recipe is simple, straightforward, and smile-producing.
In the pandemic, I’m cooking at home daily, even as my energy fluctuates day-to-day. This means that I sometimes want to stretch myself, try new recipes, and spend hours in the kitchen. On these days, cooking feels like an expression of creativity and exciting activity.
On other days, cooking feels like the opposite, like too much. I want and need to eat, and I crave comfort foods. But I don’t have the energy to put into food. At these times, my goals are to minimize complexity and time involved in cooking. I want to produce tasty food as quickly as possible.
This recipe is for those times when I want the yummiest, most-favorite comfort foods, but I also don’t have it in me to do the cooking. May this support you, too, during this pandemic and for eating in a way that supports us all—toward social, racial, and environmental justice.
Mac and Cheese with a Kick
This recipe takes 10-15 minutes (mostly boiling water and heating pasta), and in my household, it feeds two people.
There are just 4 ingredients involved:
- Box of gluten-free pasta (I prefer lentil pasta for more protein)
- Bag of spinach
- Bag of shredded vegan cheese
- Jar of jalapeño slices
This recipe is very flexible and forgiving, so there are no precise measurements to these ingredients.
Instead, I follow these 3 steps, tasting as I prepare the dish:
- Prepare pasta according to instructions on the box: boiling water, adding pasta, and then straining.
- Put pasta back on the stove on medium-low heat, and stir in full bags of both spinach and vegan cheese (I typically use Daiya, So Delicious, or Follow Your Heart cheddar shreds).
- Add sliced jalapeños and some liquid from the jar, and adjust to taste. The more, the spicier. Because I like this mac and cheese to have a kick, I add ~¼ of the juice and 20-25 slices.
This post is written by Beth Godbee, Ph.D. for Heart-Head-Hands.com. Check out other simple vegan + gluten-free recipes on this site, including “Vegan Stuffed Dates: 4-Ingredient Decadent Dessert” and “When Times Get Tough: Simple Sautéed Spinach and Tempeh.”
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