Macaroni Pie

Macaroni pie is a cheesy macaroni casserole that is eaten everywhere in Barbados. Vegan version is easy to make with nutritional yeast. A common way to make it is use long pasta tubs and break them into smaller pieces, but elbow macaroni or other pasta is fine too.

Quite possibly every western culture has their own version of mac pie, like Mac’n’cheese, “Kraft food” (we were told Canadians know it by the name of the most famous manufacturer), even Finnish makaronilaatikko belongs to the same family. The barbadian version naturally has mustard and chili peppers in it.

macpie

Macaroni Pie

250 g macaroni (long tubs broken in smaller pieces)
water, salt

sauce:
4 dl oat or soy milk
3 tbsp wheat flour
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
0,5 dl oil
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 heaping tbsp ketchup
0,5-1 tsp cayenne
salt, white pepper

optional toppings:
bread crumbs
melting vegan cheese

Boil the macaroni according to instructions on the package and drain. Grease a dish and spread the cooked macaroni in it.

Make the sauce: Whisk all the sauce ingredients together in a saucepan. Heat on medium (medium-high) heat, stirring frequently, until the sauce starts bubbling and gets thicker. Pour the sauce over macaroni and stir a little to let the sauce flow everywhere between the macaronis. Sprinkle with bread crumbs or melting cheese if you want to. Bake about 30 minutes in 200 Celsius Degrees.

mofobanneri2013

Special Macaroni Casserole

It’s handy to have some food in the freezer for days you don’t have time to cook or if you don’t have any leftovers to take with you to work. Today we made loads of macaroni casserole so we could have it for dinner and have leftovers to freeze.

Two Macaroni Casseroles

400g macaroni
3 big carrots
2 medium/small onions
1 celery stalk
1 can white beans in tomato sauce
salt, pepper, oregano
vegetable broth
half bell pepper
3 dl green beans cut in shorter pieces
2 garlic cloves
5 dl coconut milk
scant 1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garam masala
pinch of cayenne
1 tsp lovage

Cook the macaroni according to instructions on the package. Peel and coarsely grate the carrots. Peel and chop the onions. Take two oven proof dishes and divide macaroni, carrots and onions in them. If one is bigger than the other, put 2/3 to it and 1/3 to the other (like we did). Slice the celery stalk and put it and white beans to one dish. Sprinkle salt, pepper and oregano on top and pour enough vegetable broth to barely cover other ingredients. Dice bell pepper and mince the garlic cloves. Put them and green beans to the other dish. Combine coconut, cumin, garam masala, cayenne, lovage and some salt in a bowl and mix them with macaroni mix. Cover both dishes with lid or aluminium foil and bake in 200 Celsius degrees for 45-60 minutes. Remove lid/foil from the first dish after 20-30 minutes and from coconutty dish 5-10 minutes before it’s done.

A Filling Salad

Nomad was supposed to have band rehearsal today and I planned to make macaroni salad for dinner so I could eat it earlier and he could eat when he comes home. But one of his band members was sick and the rehearsal was cancelled. I made the macaroni salad anyway.

Macaroni Salad

350g rye macaroni (or regular macaroni)
1 tbsp olive oil
200g frozen peas
4-5 dl mung bean sprouts
1 big bell pepper
2 small onions
6 sun dried tomatoes
2 pickles
fresh basil leaves for garnishing (optional)

Dressing:
5 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
scant 1 tsp basil

Cook the macaroni according the instructions on the package. Rinse, put in a bowl with frozen peas and 1 tbsp oil. Cut the onions in thin half moons, cube the bell pepper and pickles and cut sun dried tomatoes in strips. When macaroni is cooled and peas are thawed, add rest of the salad ingredients. Mix the dressing ingredients together, pour on the salad and mix. Let sit in fridge at least 20-30 minutes before serving.

It Must Be Italian Because Of Macaroni

In Finland we have this Russian style salad that is called Italian salad. It’s like Salade Olivier but with macaroni. I imagine that someone had eaten it in Russia and thought that delicious salad should be introduced to Finns too. But because Finns thought that Russia=bad, (s)he disguised it by adding macaroni and called it Italian. So everybody happily ate the salad and had no idea that it was actually a Russian dish.

Italian salad and Salade Olivier often contain meat, but my mother has always made ovo-vegetarian version with home made mayo. It turns vegan by using egg free mayo (home made or store bought).

Italian Salad

1 can of canned peas
4 boiled carrots
2 dl boiled potato cubes
2 pickles
2 apples
2 dl macaroni or other small pasta

Dressing:
2-3 dl mayo
0,5 tsp mustard
2 tbsp lemon juice
pinch of salt
white pepper

Cook the macaroni according to instructions on the package. Drain the peas and cube everything else. Mix the salad ingredients in a bowl. Mix the dressing ingredients together in another bowl and toss with the salad.

Childhood Memories

Back in the 80’s, when we were kids, all the kids loved macaroni casserole. Don’t know if they still love it, I haven’t talked about food with kids for years.

Usually macaroni casserole is made with eggs, milk and minced meat. Or just eggs and milk, if it’s served as side dish. In many vegan recipes soy flour is used instead of egg, but I don’t recommend that unless you want your casserole taste like soy flour. Here’s my version, I used bechamel sauce to make a firm casserole.

makaronilaatikko

Vegan Macaroni Casserole

350 g macaroni
water and salt for cooking
3 dl textured soy protein
salt, pepper, garlic powder
1 onion, chopped
oil
some herbs if you like

Bechamel sauce

2 tbsp margarine
3 tbsp wheat flour
5 dl soy milk
salt, pepper
nutmeg

optional: grated carrot, chopped celery, frozen corn or peas or any other vegetables.

Cook the macaroni in the salted water. Soak the soy protein in hot water, spiced with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the onion couple of minutes. Add the textured soy protein and fry until the exess liquid is gone. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed, and add herbs if you want to.

Making the sauce: Melt the margarine in a sauce pan and stir in flour. Add 0,5-1dl milk, stir well, add more milk, stir etc. until all the milk is gone. Bring to boil (remember to stir often!) and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Grease an oven proof dish and put half of the cooked macaroni on the bottom. Put the textured soy protein mix and vegetables (if you use them) on it and rest of the macaroni on top. Or mix everything together. Last pour the sauce on. Put the dish to a cold oven, turn it on 125 celsius degrees and go to the library. When you come back, the food is ready. Or if you want to stay at home, bake the dish in 175 degrees about an hour.

Serve with ketchup and something simple, like grated carrots, cucumber slices or pickled beets.