Friday, December 11, 2015

NuVegan Café Macaroni and "Cheese"

I know I swore off macaroni reviewing, but today I want to break my silence and give a shout-out to my neighborhood NuVegan Café for really doing vegan macaroni right.

If you've ever eaten vegan cheese, you know it's a poor substitute for dairy-based cheese—usually squishy, slimy, and relatively flavorless. If given the choice of never eating cheese again or substituting vegan cheese for the rest of my life, I would choose to give cheese up. 

However, the vegan macaroni from NuVegan does not gross me out the way most vegan cheesy dishes do (in spite of its somewhat questionable appearance). The cheese, instead of being a stringy ooze, is crumbly and subtle. There's even a browned top layer with bits of parsley!

Another problem I have with vegan food is it is disproportionately high in onion content (onions being top on the list of foods I don't eat). For some reason, chefs seem to think, "If we can't have meat, and we can't have cheese, we must make up for it with more flavor! What's the most flavorful vegetable I can add to this dish? Onion!" However, in the case of the NuVegan macaroni, the extra flavor seems to come in the form of some kind of spice (maybe paprika?). Which is both interesting and not too painful (a common problem with spices).

I have been wrong about onion content before. I usually learn of my error a few minutes later when I start to feel really yucky after eating), but so far I have not had any adverse reaction to the NuVegan macaroni. It was a little mushy and I probably ate too much, but on the whole, it is hands-down the best vegan "cheese" dish I've ever eaten.

Cheese and onions are the two biggest obstacles between me and a vegan lifestyle. I'm not saying I'm about to jump on the vegan bandwagon, but if I'm ever ready to take a step in a more compassionate direction, I think I would start by removing mac & (dairy) cheese from my diet and replacing it with the dish from NuVegan Café!

I rate this macaroni...
One happy noodle for being the only vegan macaroni that every made me a happy noodle!

1 happy noodle

The Mood Noodle rating system is not based on a fixed scale, but is a much more subjective system based on what makes me happy and what makes me sad.
Any number of happy noodles and comparatively few sad noodles constitute a good rating.