Homemade Mac & Cheese: The Tipping Point

What usually happens when I decide to play in the kitchen is nothing short from fun at the beginning. The reason is, I am indecisive and hardly ever remember to bring the grocery list I spent 20 minutes concocting.  Which is why I usually am going back and forth between aisles and end up only getting staple items and I walk out of the store telling myself, I’ll try that cool recipe another time.  Well that “next time” attitude gets me nowhere. So I intend to be present in this very moment and make the shift.  Besides, my palette has been craving things that do not serve my body, which means I really need to switch it up!! So first it’s the grocery store debacle.  What and how many ingredients do I need for a particular recipe, and how many grocery stores do I have to go to.  That being said, I keep new recipes simple.  The best thing I ever did was stock up on key spices and condiments (for more info email me at HealthbyHillary@gmail.com).

I was browsing various FB posts and came across a whimsical BuzzFeed video for Vegan Mac & Cheese, it met my requirements for minimal shopping; I already had carrots so I just needed potatoes, an onion, and pasta. Now I have just recently moved from the glistening South Park area.  I am familiar to only the finer grocery stores.  So having to shop at Food Lion, was the most daunting idea for this self-proclaimed grocery snob. A brand new shiny grocer moved in beside the Harris Teeter in town, and you can cut the rivalry with a butter knife.  But, let me say Publix is far from being my ideal grocer; after watching Food Chains, I really have a hard time spending money at conventional grocer’s in general. Alas, I was not taking a 35 minute drive to go to my familiar cozy health food store of choice.

Walking into Publix an aroma of pumpkin spice overwhelmed me and my eyes saw local produce front and center.  There was a small section of overpriced organic produce, but most of the dirty dozen produce were not available as Organic (for more info email me at HealthbyHillary@gmail.com).  I decided to find that darn video on my phone to make sure there wasn’t any ingredients I forgot about.  Sure enough I played the video numerous times and got the jingle stuck in my head.  After I found the produce needed for the recipe, I decided to look around and see what Publix had to bring to the table.  I think the best part of the shopping experience was how freaking nice the staff was. They could tell I was hunting for various things, so they kept asking with a smile if I needed help.  I am quite stubborn, so of course I said no and went down the same aisle probably 5 times. Side note, I also really dislike conventional grocer’s because to me its like comparing Walmart to Target…do you get it now? I mean why is coconut water and bottled water where the bread is?

So now to getting in the kitchen and make some mac & cheese.  Guess how many times I played this video while cooking? Probably 20 times, only because I am so Type A, and have to make sure I get the recipe exactly right.  When I started to peel the potatoes and had watched the video yet again, I realized I had bought the wrong type of potatoes. Crap, oh well; that’s me liberating myself from a Type A disfunction.  So I boiled everything and threw it in my badass repurposed and much cheaper Vitamix. Then I boiled the noodles and was looking for nutritional yeast to add to the ‘cheesy vortex’; I love my memory of the way cheese tastes and I was not convinced 2 potatoes, 1 carrot, and 1/4 onion could taste cheesy. That’s right I said it, I love the way cheese tastes.  I have been a Vegan for 6 years and I still remember the deliciousness that cheese is.  So I look through the cabinets and ask for some assistance, and the answer I get is “do you see what we have in this house, do you think we would have anything that starts with ‘nutritional’?”  … we will come back to this topic. So without the nutritional yeast, my first batch of Vegan Mac & Cheese was a success, I added fresh basil and I think next time I am going to bake it with Kale. Vegan Mac & Cheese

Ya’ll today was a good freaking day.  I explored a grocery store with it almost empty, the weather was beautiful, and I made something absolutely delicious!  In the end,  its all about finding the simple things that bring you pleasure, and letting go of the nuances that may pop up.  Let me know how this recipe goes for you!  Even better, let’s talk about the movie Food Chains.

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