Lauren Toyota of Hot For Food's Vegan Mac & Cheese
Posted: Feb 13 2015
We Caught Up With Canadian TV Personality, And Now Full-Time Vegan Food Blogger, Lauren Toyota, And Got One Of Her Coveted Recipes To Share!
After about a decade in the limelight as a prominent Canadian TV personality, Lauren Toyota started off 2015 as a full-time entrepreneur. The food blogger and freelance media personality opened up to The Chic Canuck about living the vegan lifestyle, her passion project Hot For Food, and even shared a recipe for one of our all-time favourite comfort-food classics: Macaroni and Cheese. And of course, it’s 100% vegan.
Meatless since the age of 12, Lauren Toyota started her blog, Hot For Food in 2010 when she made the leap to veganism. “I love food! I always knew it would be a bigger part of my life,” she told us.
At first a hobby, Hot For Food evolved in 2014 when she relaunched the site as a partnership with her boyfriend John Diemer. The site is coming up on one year since the relaunch and is part of a growing community of blogs and social media dedicated to the lifestyle.
“It’s nice to see this movement happening in mainstream media towards wellness and food and being more aware of what you’re eating.”
Lauren’s passion for vegan food radiates when she talks about the endless possibilities for vegan cooking. Hot For Food features vegan takes on beloved dishes like “popcorn chik’un” and buffalo wings (made of cauliflower!). She also points out the health benefits and ethical implications.
“Being vegan is just part of being more conscious about your place in the world. Jon and I want to expand upon that awareness by exploring how we can be more environmentally conscious and understanding the greater impact of how we live our lives.”
Coming out this April, one of Lauren and Jon’s recipes will be featured in Gene Bauer's new cookbook "Living the Farm Sanctuary Life.” Their recipe will be published alongside the
likes of famous vegans like Moby and Emily Deschanel. Lauren was hush hush about the details of the recipe, but divulged that it is “very Canadian.”
We can’t wait to check it out! In the meantime, this amazing Vegan Mac and Cheese recipe should hold us over:
Vegan Mac & Cheese by Hot For Food
(makes 4-6 servings)
3 C uncooked macaroni (use brown rice noodles for gluten free dish)
1/4 tsp sea salt
3/4 C raw cashews (soaked for 3 hours min. or overnight)
1 1/2 C non-dairy milk
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 C sunflower oil
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp miso paste
1/4 C nutritional yeast
2 tbsp tapioca flour (or arrowroot flour or corn starch)
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp white pepper (or ground pepper)
1/2 pkg daiya jack style wedge (optional)
1/4 C bread crumbs
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tbsp go veggie! parmesan topping (optional)
Tip: for a gluten-free dish use brown rice macaroni noodles and gluten-free bread crumbs.
In a large pot, bring pasta water to a boil with 1/4 tsp of sea salt and cook the pasta. It should be cooked just before al dente - still firm as it will still cook in the oven. Place all the sauce ingredients, except for the daiya wedge, in a vitamix or high powered blender and blend until smooth.
Drain the water from the pasta (don’t rinse the pasta) and pour the noodles into a 9 x 9 baking dish. Then take 1/2 the daiya jack style wedge and cut it into cubes. Toss those into the noodles and add all of the sauce and stir to coat evenly. It will seem a bit liquidy but the tapioca
flour (or arrowroot flour or cornstarch) will thicken everything in the oven.
Tip: at this stage you could stir in raw chopped kale, raw broccoli florets,sundried tomatoes, or thawed vegan ground beef to the mac & cheese. Cover the dish with tin foil and bake for 20 mins at 325 F.
Mix the bread crumbs with the dried herbs and parmesan (if using) in a bowl and set aside.
When the mac & cheese has baked for 20 mins remove it from the oven. Uncover it and add the bread crumb mixture evenly on top and bake uncovered for another 10-15 mins until the inside is bubbling and the top is brown.