Well’s Vegetarian Thanksgiving interactive recipe post from the New York Times was making the rounds on Facebook last week, and the skillet mac and cheese caught my eye because I really love mushrooms, broccoli and cheese together. I didn’t have an oven safe skillet, but there were a few recipes I wanted to try that called for one, so Dennis bought me one. Most girls like their guys to buy them expensive jewelry and things, but I prefer kitchen stuff!

As soon as I got my hands on that skillet, I ran to the kitchen and set about veganizing the recipe. It was pretty good and I’ll definitely make it again. Next time I will probably add more nutritional yeast and a little less milk, but here’s what I did when I made it the first time:



Ingredients

4 ounces Daiya cheddar (about half a bag)
2 ounces Daiya mozzarella (about a quarter of a bag)
1 tablespoon Earth Balance
1 small yellow onion, chopped
6 ounces cremini or white button mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill all purpose gluten-free flour)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
3 cups unsweetened, unflavored non-dairy milk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces small pasta shells, cooked and drained according to the package instructions (I used rice pasta) 
4 cups small broccoli florets, cooked in boiling water for 1 minute (broccoli can be added to the pasta during the last minute of cooking, then drained with the pasta in a colander)


Preparation
1. Mix the cheeses in a medium bowl. Set aside.
2. Melt the Earth Balance in a large, high-sided, oven-safe skillet. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes.
3. Add the mushrooms and cook until they release their liquid and it comes to a simmer, and then reduces by about two-thirds, about 5 minutes.
4. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables in the skillet. Stir well to coat.
5. Whisk in the milk in a steady, thin stream until creamy. Then whisk in the nutritional yeast, mustard, tarragon, salt and pepper. Continue whisking until the mixture starts to bubble and the liquid thickens, about 3 minutes.
6. Remove the skillet from the heat. Stir in the cooked pasta and broccoli. 

Then add half of the mixed cheeses and give it a quick mix. 

7. Preheat the broiler after setting the rack 4 to 6 inches from the heat source. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the ingredients in the skillet. Set the skillet on the rack and broil until the cheese melts, about five minutes. (If your skillet has a plastic or wooden handle, make sure it sticks outside the oven, out from under the broiler, so the handle doesn’t melt.) 
Yield: Makes four servings.

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