Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Feeding your Inner Child with the Classics

There are some foods that were the epitome of your childhood. Depending on your generation, culture, and other variables, there are dishes and recipes and flavors you can recall as if you took a bite of it seconds before. Perhaps a combination of spices take you back to your family kitchen in New Delhi, or no other tomato sauce even comes close to your Italian grandmother’s sauce. Maybe you had traditions in your household no one else on your street did, such as gorging on lemon filled sugar donuts after going to Mass or eating lox on bagels Christmas morning.

Such memories can bring such nostalgia of being a kid, such as the simple act swinging your legs back and forth while you sit at the dinner table, that you just have to recreate that carefree feeling. And in January, with people getting colds left and right, this kind of comfort can be essential to getting better and feeling warm all during winter.

To get back into my blogging groove, I was thinking of recipes to make and wasn’t feeling particularly inspired. So I asked friends and family, each coming up with something fantastic and delicious, and yet what they suggested didn’t appeal to my Inner Child.

But then something struck a chord, a memory of a friend requesting a dairy free version of a very much dairy filled delight. She asked me to recreate macaroni and cheese, a dish that I remember enjoying hot from the stovetop/oven. (Alas, it was usually the boxed or frozen kind.) So I set out to make a stovetop mac n’ “cheese” recipe for gluten/soy/dairy-freers everywhere, and I’m rather content with the results. You can tell it is dairy free when eating it, I will not deny that, but I still found it quite delicious. I think I would have been happier without adding the amount of salt I had put in, so do so sparingly and taste as you go.

And by all means, feed your Inner Child whenever possible.

Stovetop Mac n’ “Cheese”

224 g Dried gluten free macaroni noodles*
400 ml Canned coconut milk (lite or full fat would work)
28 g Nutritional yeast
20 g Garbanzo bean flour
1 tsp. Turmeric
1/2 tsp. Garlic powder
Dash of Nutmeg
Sea salt, to taste**
Dried basil, as garnish (optional)

Prepare the dried noodles according to the instructions on the package.
While the noodles are cooking, place the remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan on medium-low heat until bubbling and smooth and then on the lowest heat setting until the noodles are ready.
Once the noodles are cooked through, drain the excess water and transfer the noodles onto the sauce.
Evenly coat the noodles (adding water if necessary, as it could be a little thick) in with the sauce, and then pour into four bowls or dishes for immediate serving.

Makes 4 servings.

*I used Andean Dream’s macaroni pasta and highly recommend it.
**As I said, I urge you to taste as you go. The nutritional yeast may be salty enough for the dish.

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