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Mac n 'Cheese' with 'Bacon' Bits - Chef Recipe by Gaz Oakley
Mac n 'Cheese' with 'Bacon' Bits - Chef Recipe by Gaz Oakley

Mac n 'Cheese' with 'Bacon' Bits - Chef Recipe by Gaz Oakley


250g (2 cups) macaroni (or gluten-free pasta)
1 Tbs olive oil
1/2 head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 leek, washed and finely chopped
50g (1/2 cup) almonds
300mL (1 1/4 cups) almond milk
1 Tbs English mustard
1 tsp paprika
1 Tbs fresh thyme leaves
400mL can coconut milk
5 Tbs nutritional yeast
Salt and pepper

Coconut Bacon:

80g (1 cup) coconut flakes
2 Tbs maple syrup
2 Tbs liquid smoke
2 Tbs soy sauce
1 Tbs coconut oil


Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

First to make the coconut bacon, stir all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Once all the coconut flakes are well coated, spread out over the lined baking tray. Bake in the oven for 10–15 minutes until golden and crisp. Check the coconut a couple of times and give it a stir during cooking as it can easily burn.

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the macaroni for 8–10 minutes, until al dente.

Blanch the cauliflower florets in boiling water for 3 minutes, then drain.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, add a small amount of oil before sautéing the onion, garlic, leek and blanched cauliflower. Cook over a low heat, stirring often.

Blend the almonds and almond milk until smooth, then add to the pan containing the onion mixture to make a sauce.
Drain the pasta and set aside.

Add the mustard, paprika and thyme to the sauce, giving it a stir before adding the cooked pasta.

Add the coconut milk, yeast and a pinch of salt and pepper before cooking for a further 1–2 minutes over a low heat, until it is thick and creamy.

Serve immediately, garnishing with a pinch of paprika and the crispy coconut bacon bits.

Credits: This is an edited extract from Vegan 100 by Gaz Oakley published by Quadrille RRP $29.99 and is available in stores nationally.