So the other night I needed to get rid of the block of Daiya Cheddar Cheese I had in the fridge before it went bad. Not that I knew what the expiration date was but I knew it had been in there too long at this point. So I decided to make a cheese sauce. Then I went into the freezer for veggies and saw that the Maple Smoked Marinated Tempeh Bacon was long past overdue for getting into my stomach and decided it would be a junk food dinner night! Bacon mac and cheese had sounded like a good idea for a while but I was terrified that my execution of such a dish would come up wanting. So I made the sauce and then dipped a piece of the bacon I cooked up into it as a test. That test was the most delicious test I have ever taken. It came out well. The next question was will the tempeh get soggy or mushy and gross in the sauce? A day later still perfecto! There was only a little bit of oil separation in the container that I place in the fridge after 3 days. So those leftovers became my lunch and let me tell you, best lunch ever! The moral of this story: you can be vegan and still have bacon mac and cheese and enjoy like my husband the omnivore did. Just don’t steal my extra bacon slice I forgot to crumble and make yourself a sandwich before I am done cooking, like my husband did.
BACON MAC AND CHEESE!
1 Box of Smoky Maple Bacon Marinated Tempeh by Tofurky (Turtle Island Foods http://tofurky.com/tempehproducts/marinated_strips.html)
Macaroni or Fettucini
1 8oz container of Vegan Cream Cheese
1/4 cup Vegan Sour Cream
1/4 cup Vegan Parmesan (I use galaxy foods)
1/2capful of lemon juice
1 Block of Daiya Cheddar Cheese (they sell them next to the shredded version at Whole Foods now)
TIME TO COOK!
Place olive oil in the bottom of a deep frying pan (3 inches or more should do). Just enough to coat the whole bottom. Added a thin layer of garlic powder and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt spread evenly.
Place all cheese products into the pan (cube the Daiya and cream cheese for faster melting). Place on low medium heat until melted. Add a splash of lemon juice and soymilk (original) if needed.
In a separate skillet. Spray oil on the bottom and cook tempeh until slightly dehydrated and very brown on both sides. The packaging says 2 minutes each side but I find longer is better as it does better the dryer it is. I had it on heat (low-low medium) for about 15mins.
Once bacon is cooked crumble it by chopping with the side of the metal spatula you used for flipping.
Make pasta of your choice (Macaroni or Fettucini seemed to be good options). Don’t forget to salt the water before boiling!
Drain once al dente.
Toss Pasta with Sauce. Add crumbled bacon after pasta is completely mixed in sauce. Mix bacon in well so it is coated. ( I held out one ladle of sauce and poured it over crumbles so it mixed easier).
Let sit a few minutes to thicken and Serve!
PS This is great served as leftovers and keeps well if it lasts which in my house it did not. My omnivore husband gobbled up a mixing bowl size portion of it and then made a bacon sandwich with some bacon I hadn’t crumbled yet. The more bacon the better, the flavor comes out well. Next time I may add another 50% more bacon to the mix as it was THAT important. I do not have any pictures yet because I wasn’t sure how well it would go but take my word for it, its yellow, creamy, cheesy goodness!
Adaptations: place all in a casserole dish and top with panko breadcrumbs, Earth Balance butter, and Wayfare Foods Pig Out Whole Grain Bacony Bits for a more homestyle feel and a bit of crunch! I am semi-obsessed with the bacony bits btw! http://www.wayfarefoods.com/content/products