Childhood memories waft through my mind as I reminisce about the warmth, creaminess and comfort of “good old” mac & cheese. You don’t have to be a kid to appreciate the cozy feelings a spoonful of mac & cheese can bestow upon your mouth. With an allergy friendly diet, you can say “YES” to that smooth, golden cheesy flavor. When my youngest daughter was graduating from high school, I asked her what she wanted served at her graduation open house. She didn’t hesitate with the answer: “Your macaroni & cheese, Mom!” Needless to say, I made enough batches of this recipe for 100 people that day. This recipe can be made quick and easy in less than 30 minutes on the stovetop or even easier in your slow cooker. Directions for both will follow.
Liquified Gold Bacon Mac & Cheese
12 to 16 oz. package uncured nitrate/nitrite free bacon
16 oz. package of spiral, penne or elbow brown rice pasta
1 Tablespoon extra light tasting olive oil (or safflower or canola oil)
1 (13.5 oz.) can of full fat coconut milk (14g of fat)
2 cups Unsweetened So Delicious Dairy Free Coconut Milk
2 cups non-dairy cheddar style cheese (8 oz. package)
1 cup non-dairy mozzarella style cheese (1/2 a package or 4 oz.)
6 Tablespoons dairy/soy free margarine (You may substitute 2 Tablespoons of reserved bacon grease for 2 Tablespoons of margarine for added flavor.)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon onion powder
chopped parsley (to sprinkle on top when serving)
Brown rice pasta: Tinkyada Brown Rice Pasta (highly recommend)
Unsweetened coconut milk: So Delicious Dairy Free Unsweetened Coconut Milk beverage
Non-dairy cheddar style cheese: Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds
Non-dairy mozzarella style cheese: Daiya Mozzarella Style Shreds
Dairy/soy free margarine: Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread (Soy Free Version)
Stovetop Directions: Boil 4 quarts of water with a dash of salt in a large pot on the stovetop. While the water is heating, cut the bacon up into 1″ pieces with either a sharp knife or a kitchen scissors. Fry the bacon pieces in a separate frying pan until crisp. You don’t need to dry the bacon on paper towels–just use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon into the macaroni and cheese when it’s time to do so. Reserve 2 Tablespoons of the bacon grease (if desired). When the water is boiling, add the brown rice pasta. Stir occasionally and cook over medium-high heat for only 5 minutes. Drain the pasta (do not rinse). Return the noodles back to the large pot and add remaining ingredients (including the bacon). Stir and cook over medium heat until the non-dairy cheeses are creamy and the noodles are not chewy- but still firm. If you overcook the noodles, they will get too soft.
Slow Cooker Directions: Cut up the bacon into 1″ pieces and fry the bacon pieces until crisp. Place all of the ingredients (including the cooked bacon pieces) into your slow cooker. Mix together thoroughly. You don’t have to cook the pasta, you just throw the dry pasta noodles in the slow cooker with the other ingredients (I told you it was easy). Place the slow cooker on low temp and cook for 1 and a half to 2 hours (stir once or twice) until the noodles are not chewy but still firm. That’s it!