The Compassionate Cook's Diary

by Celia Fenn


Cheez Sauce and Vegan Macaroni Cheez and Cauliflower Cheez

So many people who make the shift to Vegetarian have said to me, "I can't imagine life without cheese". Certainly most of our traditional "comfort" foods involce cheese in some way. For myself, I have always loved Macaroni Cheese, that warm and tasty combination of Pasta and Cheese. So, for a wheat intolerant person who eats no diary, I thought I was doomed. But no....its is possible to make a really tasty Vegan Macaroni Cheese dish and Cauliflower Cheez dish, I am happy to say.

The secret is in the Sauce, which we Vegans like to call Cheez Sauce. It has absolutely no diary at all, and yet resembles cheese sauce in texture and flavor. Is it exactly the same? No. I think it is better. It is tasty yet light, and it is not greasy at all. For me the secret is the addition of Dijon Mustard which gives a tangy bite.

This Cheez Sauce can be used for many dishes including Cauliflower Cheez and Macaroni Cheez.

Vegan Cheez Sauce


1/4 Cup Olive Oil or Vegan Butter
1/4 Cup Flour/Gluten Free Flour
1/4 Cup Nutritional Yeast Flakes
1 Cup Soya or Coconut Milk
1 small Onion chopped finely
3 small cloves Garlic chopped finely
2 tsp Tomato Paste
1 to 2 tsp Dijon Mustard
1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
pinch Salt
pinch Chili Flakes (optional)

Fry the chopped onion in a little oil until transparent. Lower heat and add flour to thicken, and then add garlic. Then add the milk slowly, stirring to form a paste. Add nutritional yeast flakes, and keep stirring. You may need to add a little water at this point, to keep the sauce from getting to thick. The idea is to create a light and silky sauce.

Add the tomato paste, Dijon Mustard, Salt, Smoked Paprkia and Chili if using.

If you want a really silky smooth sauce you can process it in a blender or with a hand blender. I prefer mine slightly chunky and use it as is.

Note: Using Olive Oil gives a very rich flavor, but Olive Oil is expensive as I only use Extra Virgin, so Vegan butter is a good alternative

Macaroni Cheez


1 batch of Cheez Sauce as above
Cooked Macaroni/Gluten Free Macaroni
Sun Dried Tomatoes for topping or Sliced Fresh Tomatoes if using
Crumbs or Rice Crumbs for topping if using

I personally prefer this dish without the topping, as I find that the sauce tends to redue down in the oven, and that it is better to simply mix the sauce with the cooked Macaroni and top with fresh tomato slices. But I have given here the instructions for the "traditional" baked macaroni.

Cook the Macaroni in slated boiling water until tender, then transfer to an oven dish. Mix in the Chees Sauce. Top with either fresh tomato slices or Sun Dried tomatoes that have been soaked in hot water for 20 minutes. Sprinkle over Crumbs and place in oven under grill for about 10 minutes maximum, until crumbs are golden and sauce bubbles.

Serve with a green salad for a tasty meal.

Cauliflower Cheez

Cauliflower is one of my favorite veggies, whether as soup, raw in a salad or in this tasty traditional cauliflower cheez recipe.


1 small Cauliflower
1 batch Cheez Sauce
Chives for topping
Red Pepper for Topping

Break or Cut the Cauliflowert into Florets and cook in boiling water until tender.

Place cooked Cauliflower in a dish and mix in batch of Cheez Sauce. Top with chopped Chives and a little Red Pepper and serve.



Nutritional Yeast Flakes : If you are just starting out in Vegan cooking these may be new to you. I had to work hard to track them down, but they are a "magic" ingredient in Vegan "cheese" dishes. They are made from cultured Yeast and turned into flakes. They are high in B Vitamins which is a bonus on a Plant Based diet, as well as being Low Fat and Gluten Free. Enjoy!

Crushed Red Pepper : This is something I encountered in Turkey, and it is a fire red pepper made from Dried Red Bell Peppers and Chillis, Cayennes and other dried red peppers. The Turkish make it best, so I always bring some back from Turkey. Sprinkled on Food it really picks up the flavor, and goes well with "cheesy" dishes.