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Macaroni and Cheese
Ellen Sheen, La Pure Mama
Directions for Preparation
In a sauté pan, heat a little extra virgin olive oil and saute shallots and garlic for about 2 to 3 minutes.
Add shitakes to the mix and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until soft. Turn heat off and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Boil pasta in salted water; when al dente, strain and transfer into a large bowl.
Meanwhile, in a medium pan, melt Earth Balance on med/low heat. When just melted, add coconut milk and cream cheese and stir until thick and smooth.
Once melted, add the cheddar cheese and let melt, continuing to stir. Once combined, add the first 1/4 cup of your nutritional yeast and salt and pepper and stir to combine.
Once combined, taste it then add the remaining 1/4 cup nutritional yeast and more salt and pepper, if needed.
Continue stirring to combine and give it another taste once the salt and pepper have had time to incorporate. Taste and add more as needed.
When the salt and pepper ratio is to your liking, pour your cheesy mix onto the noodles and add your shitake mix as well. Give it a light stir then add the first 3/4 cup panko breading. Gently stir to combine, making sure the noodles are covered and everything is mixed evenly.
Portion into extra large muffin tins, pressing down fairly liberally to compact noodles as you go. Note: you can also use regular size muffin tins, they will just be smaller.
Top tins with remaining panko breading, cover with tin foil and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes. At the 15 minute mark, remove tin foil and let bake for an additional 5 minutes.
Remove from oven and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
To remove from muffin tins, gently run a knife along the edges then use a fork to gently pop it out. If you compacted enough it will pop out but still be rather 'loose'.
Put on a plate, top with fresh chopped green onions and serve.