I have what you’d call a “Type A” personality.
I am outgoing (but an introvert). I like to lead. I am a perfectionist.
I like to challenge myself, even if I do it subconciously. And usually, I don’t take no for an answer.
Case in point: even though yoga is a totally relaxing experience for me, I take ever advantage to try to rub up against my “edge.” Attempting binds? Sure. Lifting my toes or heels in buddah sqat? You better believe it. Extra push ups? Without a doubt.
Even though I certainly brought my thighs to their edge today in yoga, it was what happened afterwards that was the true challenge. As I steeped into the showers immediately following my practice, I realized I had forgotten my towel. I was hot, sweaty, and itching for a shower ASAP. I like to get my sweat on, but I also like to get it OFF my body. If the toxins are coming out, they are surely not staying on my skin. No sir.
And as for the shower? It was going to happen. I wasn’t taking no for an answer. Luckily, I found a small towel in my bag so it wasn’t a total dilemma. You better believe it was a challenge though. Have you ever tried drying a soaking wet body with a washcolth? Let me tell you, it’s not fun, but I did laugh at myself multiple times. Sometimes you have to get creative.
My words of advice? Don’t try this at home. I was able to dry myself enough to get into clean clothes, but my hair was helpless. I kept squeezing out buckets of (fresh, nicely smelling) water.
My second challenge of the night was getting my family to like vegan cheeze sauce. They’ve taken to the other vegan meals I’ve made them, so I finally decided to take the plunge and introduce them to the wonders of nutritional yeast. I took a total gamble by using a tofu + nooch sauce rather than a creamy cashew sauce, which I’ve heard non-vegans take to well.
As I combined ingredients, I did some serious praying. Fortunately, one lick and I knew my prayers had been answered. It was delicious! When my grandmother walked it in door, she took a little spoonful and proclaimed how creamy and flavorful it was. I sighed in relief.
Everything was going well until I decided to put the bowtie pasta, vegan cheese sauce, and peas mixture into a casserole dish in the oven. When I took the casserole out just 15 minutes later, it was steaming hot. However, the saucy pasta had transformed into a thick mixture. “What gives,” I thought to myself.
And then I knew what it was. Gluten, my arch nemesis, had made the pasta so starchy it absorbed all the moisture. Sorry, Gluten, but you ruined the dinner I made for my family and don’t make my tummy happy; you just don’t have a lot going for you.
Don’t worry, though. This pasta is absolutely fantastic with brown rice (or other gluten-free) pastas. No gluten means no starch so the pasta stays creamy no matter how you choose to serve it. Gluten-free is how I prefer things anyway. However, if you are of the whole wheat persuasion, I recommend using less pasta or doubling (or tripling!) the sauce. Just be careful and don’t say I didn’t warn you. Gluten is a tricky little guy!
Vegan Mac and Peas (aka Mac&Cheese)
- 1 16-ounce package Brown Rice Pasta
- 2 cups frozen peas
- **Optional: 1/4 cup cashews (soaked for 5 hours) + 1/4 cup water, blended in a Vita-Mix for a creamier and a little more decadent sauce
- 1 16-ounce block firm tofu
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 3 TBS nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp yellow mustard (I use Organicville)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp turmeric (optional), for color
- 1 TBS olive oil
- smoked paprika, for topping
- 1/2 cup brown rice or panko bread crumbs (optional), for topping
- Preheat oven to 325*F.
- Cook pasta according to directions on package, adding the peas in the last few minutes of cooking to take the chill off. Drain.
- Meanwhile, in a Vita-Mix or food processor, blend cashew mixture (if using), tofu, almond milk, nutritional yeast, mustard, garlic powder, salt, turmeric, and olive oil until creamy.
- In a large bowl, stir together drained pasta, peas, and cheese sauce until well combined.
- Pour into a large casserole dish. Top with smoked paprika and bread crumbs, if desired.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
Even though dinner didn’t go as planned, I wasn’t giving up yet. No sir-eee. Gluten wasn’t winning this one.
Gluten definitely worked in my oey, gooey peanut butter blondies. Oh yes.Take that, Gluten.
So, my friends, the moral of the story is to stick to your guns and never give up. If I wasn’t so stubborn, I probably would have just made the dish again with gluten-free pasta. But instead, I decided to show gluten what I made of. However, that’s not to say that I wouldn’t get my family eating gluten-free if they could stand it. One step at a time. 🙂
Are you Type A? Do you cook gluten-free? If so, what’s your favorite thing to make? And have you ever had a recipe that started out amaing but somehow something went wrong?
Have a lovely day!