By now, you might’ve read Vic’s writeup of our day at the Festival Végane de Montréal and our mac & cheese culinary demo there. It’s here if you want to give it a skim. The YouTube video of our live demo is at the end of this post. Keep scrolling to see us in action!
Mac & Cheese
When they asked us what recipe we wanted to share, I was quick to say mac & cheese because it’s always been one of our most popular ones. Side note — Am I the only who has this internal spelling struggle choosing between Mac & Cheese vs Mac & Cheeze? I don’t want to confuse anyone, but I figure even if I say cheese, you’ll know I mean the vegan stuff.
Knowing that we were going to be using MELT Organic for the butter and Bassé Nuts for the cashews, I reached out to each of them and they agreed to sponsor our demo to help cover the costs of our ingredients and travel. The FVM is run by volunteers and there’s no entry fee, so the appearance was unpaid. They were both happy to work with us and bring the demo to life.
There are five products in the MELT lineup, three of which are vegan (the other two are sweetened with honey). We use Rich & Creamy MELT Organic for cooking and spreading. The MELT Organic Baking Sticks are the easiest to use when measurements are important. They come in those handy wrappers with 1 tbsp lines marked on them.
MELT uses what they call the “Perfect Blend of the finest fruit- and plant-based organic oils. It contains organic virgin coconut oil as the primary ingredient because it’s a rich source of Medium Chain Fatty Acids (the ‘good fats’), that your body burns as energy instead of storing as fat.” Let’s do a quick run-through of what I find most impressive about MELT:
- Certified Organic
- Non-GMO Project Verified
- Fair for Life Fair Trade Certified
- Rainforest Alliance Certified
- On top of being vegan, it’s also soy-free and gluten-free.
Seriously, we haven’t found a better plant-based butter. It melts like butter, it acts like butter, and it’s quality stuff, as you may have guessed based on that list of certifications. In Montreal, we buy MELT at TAU, but it’s also conveniently available at WalMart. For an exact list of stores in your area, use the store locator here.
You might know Bassé Nuts from the familiar squirrel on the the packaging. They also package nuts and seeds for other brands, so it’s entirely possible that even the nuts you buy under another label actually come from Bassé.
We use their raw cashews in our coconut cashew cakes that you’ve seen on Instagram and here on the blog. Obviously they sell a lot more than cashews, but I just love cashews. They’re so creamy in desserts and sauces. Amazing to snack on when roasted and salted. And when someone ask for the non-dairy option closest to dairy, I usually recommend cashew milk because it’s so creamy. I sprinkle Bassé dried cranberries in my oatmeal when I prep it for the next couple of days. They’re perfect.
Just north of Montreal, in Laval, they have a store in front of the factory that’s open to the public with all the nuts and seeds you can imagine. They also dehydrate fruits and berries and offer certified organic nut options. The nuts and fruits are roasted and dehydrated onsite daily and you can make your own mix, so it’s exactly the way you want it.
To everyone who attended the cooking demo in November and to everyone who watched the live feed, THANK YOU! It would’ve been pretty sad to be standing in front of an empty room or streaming a feed that nobody watched, but you showed so much support. It wouldn’t have been the same without you! 🙂
Enjoy your mac & cheese! …or cheeze?
Thanks to Bassé Nuts and MELT for partnering with us to bring you this recipe and our live demo at the Festival Végane de Montréal.
Recipe: Vegan Mac & Cheese, with MELT and Bassé Nuts
— IN THE POT —
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup potatoes, chopped
- 1/3 cup onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup carrots, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
— IN THE BLENDER —
- 1/2 cup Bassé Nuts raw cashews, soaked overnight (3/4 cup when soaked)
- 5 tbsp Rich & Creamy MELT Organic or MELT Organic Baking Sticks
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp Maldon salt
- 1/4 tsp ground white or black pepper
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- Heat the water in a medium pot. Add the potatoes, onion, carrots, and garlic.
- Bring just a boil, then reduce to simmer 10 minutes.
- In your blender (we use a Vitamix), add the Bassé Nuts raw cashews, MELT vegan butter, and remaining ingredients.
- When the ingredients in the pot are ready, pour the entire contents (including the water!) into the blender.
- Blend until completely smooth and creamy.
- Add small amounts of water if the consistency isn’t to liking.
- Taste and add spices to your taste, if necessary.
- Cook your pasta according to instructions on the package.
- Pour the sauce over top and mix until completely coated.
- You may not need all of the sauce. Keeps well in the fridge for a week.