By Elisabeth Morgan

Like many people all over the world right now, me and my family try to stick to one big grocery shopping hall once every two weeks in order to lessen our time out in public spaces. Of course, we only really buy what we need, but by the end of those two weeks our fridge is looking a little scarce. With four people, two spoiled guinea pigs, and one giant dog it’s bound to happen.

It has always been really fun for me to cook for other people, and during this time of social distancing I often try to make meals that my little sister would like. I’ll spend time in the kitchen cooking and baking, and she’ll sit across the counter playing Animal Crossing, it’s a nice balance. 

My sister isn’t a vegan, but her body doesn’t take well to dairy, so she likes to try my vegan cheeses when I make dinner- and boyyy do I have a lot of them. When we’re getting low on food, I have a million different types of cheeses, and we’re both looking for carbs- It’s time to make mac and cheese. 

I tried to write down a recipe, but the truth is my mac and cheese comes out different every time I make it, mostly because it’s an “everything but the kitchen sink” kind of meal. If you’re looking to use up some leftover food before going shopping again this is definitely a good way of doing so.

Here’s me giving it a shot! 

What you’ll need:

  • Your favorite pasta (I just had some bow-tie pasta in my pantry that needed to be used.)
  • McCormick’s Bac’n Pieces

For the veggies:

  • ½ cup white onions
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Whatever veggies you want and as many as you’d like (I like a lot!)
  • Whatever protein you like (I love a little bit of seitan in mine.)
  • ½ tablespoon garlic salt 
  • Dash of turmeric 
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • Salt, pepper, and dried parsley to taste 

For the cheese:

  • ⅓ cup nondairy milk 
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast 
  • Vegan cheese (This time I used 3 slices of Daiya’s Cheddar Style cheese and a tiny bit of Daiya’s Smoked Gouda Farmhouse Block because that’s what I had, but I typically like the Daiya Cheddar Style and something from Violife.)

Directions (Even though you can really make this any way you want!)

  • Lightly oil a large pan (I used canola oil.)
  • Add your white garlic and onions to the pan, sauté them on low heat
  • Chop up all the veggies you want to use and add them to the sautéed garlic and onions (I used brussels sprouts, broccoli, peas, chickpeas, and orange tomatoes because that’s what I had!)
  • Let those veggies cook for about 5 minutes, and then add your favorite protein (Mine is seitan, but I only had chorizo seitan so that’s what I used.)
  • Add your garlic salt, onion powder, pepper, and a dash of turmeric 
  • While your veggies and protein are all sautéing, start cooking your pasta (I used two cups!)
  • Once the pasta is drained set it aside and use the hot pot to add your non-dairy milk, cut up cheese, and nutritional yeast and set the heat low and stir until it becomes a smooth cheese sauce
  • Add the pasta to your veggies and pour the cheese sauce over them both, stir until everything is coated
  • Once plated, add dried parsley flakes and McCormick’s Bac’n Pieces 
  • Get ready to enjoy!

Elisabeth is a 21-year-old journalism major at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and is VeganZine’s upcoming summer intern! Veganism is her passion! When she’s not cooking, deciding which restaurant to eat at, or thinking about what kind of food she wants to eat next, you can find Elisabeth hiking with her pup Dewey, laughing with her best friend Sophia, listening to true-crime podcasts, studying astrology (she’s a Taurus, so she’ll be turning 22 soon!), reading, or watching a great show or film. You can follow her on Instagram: @elisabethmorgan to see more vegan-related content, or if you’re looking for another supportive vegan friend!