Mac & Vegan

Being of African American decent, the term ‘Soul Food’ has a number of meanings to me. It’s not only what you can expect your grandmother to cook every Thanksgiving and Christmas, but it’s food that has a stigma of being some of the most unhealthy food that you can consume.

Nevertheless, I recently came across an article that related Soul Food to the vegan lifestyle. Before reading the article, I had already made up my mind to disagree, and after I had finished the article my opinion hasn’t changed.

While the article makes the argument that slaves had diets similar to the vegans because of the limited access they had to food, this article fails to take into account the entire vegan lifestyle. Vegans do not simply refrain from eating animal flesh; they do not eat, use, or wear anything derived from an animal. So if you’re wondering, yes, this means mac & cheese as we know it would be forbidden for vegans.vmc

Fortunately, there are ways to prepare vegan approved mac & cheese. Since cheese is the main ingredient that puts mac & cheese on the ‘do not eat’ list, I’m going to give you a few vegan mac & cheese recipes to enjoy and tell you where you can buy vegan mac & cheese locally.

  • Creamy Vegan Mac & Cheese – this recipe has been voted a favorite among revi
    ewers for its creamy consistency and quick prep time.
  • The Best Vegan Mac & Cheese – a favorite among reviewers for its simplicity and texture similar to that of traditional mac & cheese.
  • Low Calorie Mac & Cheese – with its cashew based cheese sauce, this recipe takes the guilt out of confiding in this comfort food.

Not up for meal prep tonight? Check out the mac & cheese at these local vegan friendly restaurants:

The Land of Kush

Red Emma’s

Avoid the Gluten, Not the Mac

Is it just me, or does it seem like most people didn’t cared about the presence of gluten in their food until a few years ago? “Gluten-free” is one of the most recent trends in healthy eating. While eating gluten-free foods certainly has its advantages for those with gluten intolerance, it seems that the gluten-free lifestyle is turning into another label companies can use to increase their profits by offering what seems to be a healthier alternative to the foods you already eat.

A recent article published by Food Business News  says that gluten-free food sales have grown drastically since 2013 but that large growth may soon come to a halt as consumers begin to become more knowledgeable about what gluten is and whether their specific health needs/goals require a gluten-free diet.

Gluten-Free Myths

FBN contributed the successful sales of gluten-free foods to common misconceptions about the benefits of eliminating gluten from your diet.

  1. It’ll help you lose weight. Eliminating gluten from your diet without making any other attempt to manage your weight such as eating fruits and vegetables, reducing calorie intake, and exercising regularly, will not result in weight loss.
  2. Your tummy will feel better. While this one is actually a fact, you have to know what is actually causing your upset stomach. If you do not suffer from a celiac disease, a gluten-free diet may not provide the relief you’re looking for.
  3. Gluten-free foods are healthier. As it turns out, when manufacturers make gluten-free foods, the foods tend to lose certain elements of texture or chewiness which they sometimes use added fats and sugars to get those things back.

Well the good thing about this gluten-free trend is my fellow Mac & Cheese lovers who may happen to suffer from a form of gluten sensitivity or gluten intolerance do not have to sacrifice their love of the cheesy stuff. Brilla, Ronzoni, and Heartland all offer macaroni noodles that are not only gluten-free, but reasonably priced.

Want even more exciting news? Starting October 12th, Noodles & Company, who offers gluten-free options for all types of pasta lovers, will launch three new flavored Mac & Cheeses. That’s right, Mac & Cheese just got upgraded from the kid’s menu! The new flavors will include Buffalo Chicken, Mac & Cheeseburger, and BBQ Pork. I think I speak for Mac & Cheese lovers, gluten-free or not, when I scream ‘thank you’ at the top of my lungs. Now if only Panera Bread would follow suit.

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Noodles & Company Original Wisconsin Mac & Cheese w/ a side of extra cheese sauce