Mac and cheese. The ultimate comfort food?? Discuss.
For me, it’s definitely one of my top go-tos for comfort food, maybe only eclipsed by the grilled-cheese-creamy-tomato-soup combo.
When I was kid, it was all blue-box, nuclear-orange cheese mac and cheese, but as I grew up and got older, I began making it from scratch. Scratch-made mac and cheese with a creamy bechamel, different kinds of cheeses, and crumbly topping… mmm… so very good.
Lately, I’ve been experimenting with vegan options. I’ve done, in the past, a straight-up substitution mac and cheese, using a vegan cheese like Daiya in the place of the regular stuff, and a cashew-and-chickpea bechamel is my current fave.
But pre-prepared vegan mac and cheeses are now a thing, which is very convenient, especially when you’re in a hurry.
We still don’t have all the brands here in Canada yet, though. Earth Balance does one, and Annie’s, who currently makes my favourite non-vegan boxed mac and cheese, also makes one. These two I have not been able to get my hands on, but I’ll be picking some up on my next trip down south.
Michael and I did a live taste-test on Facebook. You can watch that here.
Here are the results of our Vegan Mac and Cheese Taste-test:
3rd place: Road’s End Organics. Ugh. My face says it all. Do not buy this. It’s not good. First off, it’s made with whole wheat pasta, which, I suppose is good. More fibre, right? Then, it comes with a dry sauce packet. So, it’s the most like Kraft Dinner of the three; you boil the macaroni, then add water or non-dairy milk to the pan with the dry sauce packet, and then finally mix in the boiled macaroni. I found it got really thick and clumpy, and it didn’t taste very cheesy. Big disappointment.
2nd place: Daiya. You boil the noodles, then add the sauce packet. This is a wet sauce packet, and it has that satisfying, nuclear-orange colour you’ve come to love. It also is nice and cheesy.
1st place: Amy’s. This one is microwaveable, or you can bake it in the oven. It’s also made with Daiya cheese, and bonus! It’s gluten free, as the noodles are made with rice. This had all the proper cheesiness we required.
Have you tried vegan mac and cheeses? I’d love to hear in the comments below which is your favourite brand and why.