I’m a huge fan of “fancying” up my traditional Thanksgiving dishes every once in awhile. I feel like every time I ask my friends, what’s your favorite Thanksgiving dish? Eight out of ten times, they’ll say, “Mac N Cheese!” Well, I love me some Mac N Cheese, but like, if you can have that anytime, why not make it special for Thanksgiving?
And so, I started thinking about adding something crunchy on top. Which led me to think of tempeh bacon. Then, I was like, hmm what if I made it drenched in maple? Voila, this recipe was born. I feel like this dish will get all your guests to go, “oh my goodness, this is ah-ma-zing!” Alright, here goes the recipe, enjoy!
Mac N Cheese w/Maple Glazed Tempeh Bacon
Serving Size – 6-8 servings
Prep Time – 20 minutes
Cook Time – 40 minutes
INGREDIENTS – Mac N Cheese:
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 1 medium russet potato
- 2 cups elbow pasta (Optional: Gluten Free Pasta)
- 1/5 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 1/4 yellow onion
- 1 tbs minced garlic
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- dash of turmeric
- dash of salt
INGREDIENTS – Maple Glazed Tempeh Bacon:
- 1 pack of organic tempeh (non-flavored, normally “original”)
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 1 tbs raw cane sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbs olive oil
- dash of red cayenne pepper
- Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Then remove from heat. In a large glass bowl, add your 1/2 cup of raw cashews and pour over the hot water. Soak them in the water while you prepare the pasta, potato and onions.
- Cook your pasta (follow instructions per pasta bag/box).
- Cut your raw potato in 4 chunks for quicker cook time. Boil until nice and soft. I like to use a fork to test if it will go through the entire potato easily.
- Chop up your onion. You’ll want to cut about 1/4 piece off a yellow onion and chop into thin slices.
- Cut up your tempeh into thin slices. First cut into thin strips, then each strip get’s cut twice for little bacon pieces. Steam tempeh for 20 minutes.
- In a saute pan on med heat, add some olive oil, the minced garlic and your chopped onions. Saute and then cover for about 3-4 min. Remove from the heat and place in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Now your pasta, potato and onions should all be cooked. Also, your tempeh should be finished steaming. Be sure to drain the pasta and remove the water from the cashews!
- In a food processor, add your cashews, potato and 1 cup of almond milk. Blend.
- Mix the cheese sauce in the blender with a spoon and then add the remaining cheese sauce ingredients: 1/4 of nutritional yeast, sauteed onions, another 1/2 cup of almond milk, a dash of turmeric and a dash of salt. Blend until smooth. Give it a mix and sample the sauce for taste test. May need a little more salt – whatever you desire.
- Pour the cheese sauce all over the pasta. Mix together –voila, your mac N cheese is ready. Set aside (covered).
- In a medium bowl, add the maple glaze ingredients: maple syrup, cinnamon, sugar and dash of red cayenne pepper. Whisk together until all mixed in. Add in your steamed tempeh and make sure all the tempeh pieces get coated with the glaze sauce.
- Using the same pan where you cooked your onions before on medium heat, add a tbsp of olive oil and pour the tempeh together with the maple glaze sauce into the pan. BE SURE YOU USE A NON-STICK PAN!
- Cook the tempeh for about 15-20 minutes (uncovered) on medium heat, turning over the bacon pieces every couple minutes so they cook on both sides. You’ll want the glaze to get thicker and a more sticky consistency.
- Once your bacon is ready, pour it over your mac n cheese and enjoy!