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Now Everyone Can Have Their Pie:Bajan Vegan Macaroni Pie

November 18, 2010

Bajan Vegan Macaroni Pie Copyright Taymer Mason

Rich,flavourful, mildly spicy, morish, “De Best” are words and phrases that describe Barbadian Macaroni Pie. It is a comfort food for most but can be also a pain for the many people in Barbados who are lactose intolerant especially because some of them still eat it and stay home! This solves the problem for them and also lightens the load of the calories for the traditional pie. Now let me clear up the mac and cheese Macaroni Pie issue. Mac and Cheese for me is the American version which may be saucy or can be baked in a casserole sometimes. Macaroni Pie is really very Caribbean and it is a pie that can or cannot be seasoned with whatever wet seasoning.Basically it is the Caribbean version to mac and cheese just more herbs and spices inside and it has to be baked and cut into pieces. I ate too much vegetarian macaroni pie in my life and I will tell ya this taste like the real thing. I would not even bother to tell people it is vegan unless they had a soy allergy or something because they will not know there is not 2 pounds of cheese inside because it taste like there is 2 pounds of cheese inside!

OK. there are some people who eat macaroni pie every single day seriously. You see this plate they eat it every single day with sometimes rice and peas and a side of protein because this trio is one of those major lunch  meals all over the Caribbean. I had a food and nutrition teacher who argue with us from a young age advising us not to eat this trio because there was too much protein in the meal and basically it was unbalanced so I took her advice and stopped eating it vegan or not. If I do eat the trio, vegan of course the portions will be very small almost like a tasting.

Macaroni Pie is also a dish that the “can’t cook” can make. It is the only dish people want to know how to make so you may find some can’t cook bachelors making a hell of a pie. It seems to be in its own food group in Barbados. I know when I was growing up I use to hear men talk about that girl she can make a good pie or this woman that sell at this shop pie taste good so like a good apple pie in the states makes a good chef a good macaroni pie is looked upon as something great.

There was a myth that a macaroni has to have in an egg wash (that’s what they call it back home) in it to bind. NO! I remember my dad doing it  one Sunday ….umm late 90’s and I did not like it all all as it did not bind so I too at this young age thought that doing the pie without the egg and milk mixture was a no no. Finally I learnt to make a cheesy roux at school and this ended this binding issues. Other binders for egg and cheese free pie can be a bit of cornstarch. Some reserve macaroni water and a roux of course. The macaroni pie should be able to cut into neat pieces and should not collapse. Even this pie right out of the oven will hold its shape but i will not be as clean cut as the one in the photo as I let that cool for 30 minutes before cutting. I have a cousin in Canada who loves to eat the vegetarian version of the pie and he always takes off the top of his pie and saves it for later. He is actually an advocate for selling macaroni pie tops because they are so good. I made mine with some extra roux and I put some crumb on the top but to get the crust my cousin saves for later just follow the recipe in the book and do the extra roux for the top and put it under the broiler for 5 to 10 minutes to get that brown hard crust.

Now there is a feud  I want to address..the feud between among other islands and Barbados. There have some nationals from other islands that exclaim that the one from Barbados is the best and there are others who have not spoken up about it. Some do it in hiding so no one can hear lol. There are others that roll the eyes to this assertion. I can see you…. I have only tried macaroni pie from 3 other islands other than Barbados and for now and probably forever Barbadian pie seals the deal for me. Some people use to say it was the Anchor Cheddar with the vegetarian rennet but my version does not contain this and it is still cheesy in and yummy. I think it is the Bajan Seasoning, the ketchup and the grated onion. The ketchup in my pie and the traditional one gives the pie it characteristic orange colour and some people even add more on top of their piece because they like it very sweet. I personally like my pie with a little peppery kick so I integrate Barbadian Pepper Sauce in my pie.

When I made this recipe abt a year and a half I jumped in victory because having my book without this pie would make it incomplete so this recipe has a lot of significance. Giving this to the “pie mouts”. They remark ” It taste like the real thing, it doesnt have it at least vegan cheese?” “NOOOOO…I remark as I do not get good vegan cheese here and it would not give me that rich texture I like. So it taste like the real thing, it is less calories and it is vegan.

What are you waiting for then my fellow Bajans (people from Barbados) and readers.

Make macaroni pie for your next potluck, family dinner or break up solo dinner. Whatever occasion it would console you and make you feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Happy Thursday.. MOFO is almost over….what a trip only 6 more post to go.

Next week is Bajan week meaning Barbados week as independence day is on the 30th so I want to do Bajan delicacies and speak about the island a bit as I do not do that enough.

I will take a small break after MOFO and try to post recipes for the ham and other  holiday gift ideas. This year people on my list will be getting cookies and home made sweets, chocolate truffles, trio popcorn(still working on the cheesy one) and ice cream. I have a lot of work to do so I need to take a little break and come back strong.

That is all for today

Class dismissed!

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20 Comments leave one →
  1. buddhatomic permalink
    November 18, 2010 12:26 pm

    This might possibly be my favorite recipe from your cookbook, and the one Logan habitually requests I make. SO good! :)

    • Taymer permalink*
      November 18, 2010 12:37 pm

      abt 2 other testers seem to have been making it post testing as well. I was surprised because I know ppl test and move on but they could not move on from the pie. Sometimes I worry it will take over the spot of national dish in Barbados from the Cou Cou

  2. November 18, 2010 12:29 pm

    Oh this looks wonderful – can’t wait to try it. :)

  3. November 18, 2010 1:02 pm

    OMG! This recipe immediately called out to me when I started looking through your book. I cannot wait to try it! I love the idea of macaroni baked into a pie! Best thing ever.

    • Taymer permalink*
      November 18, 2010 1:10 pm

      make it Bianca even if u do the Bajan Seasoning without hot peppers because the bajan seasoning holds ppl back from making the recipe but honestly u can make it without the pepper and marjoram

  4. lazysmurf permalink
    November 18, 2010 1:32 pm

    oh my! I have never heard of Macaroni Pie and now I want it more than anything in the world!

  5. November 18, 2010 3:44 pm

    This looks so good. Will be one of the first recipes I try, me thinks.

  6. November 18, 2010 4:11 pm

    Cannot wait to try this. I just ordered my copy of Caribbean Vegan LITERALLY right now. I have been waiting till I had the extra money so Merry early Christmas to me! I Plan to do an ALL island inspired Christmas dinner this year. It all looks incredible. A few ingredients I found whilst in Barbados I cannot find here…and I have no clue where to get that Vegan ham yet, but Google has not failed me yet! Thank you Taymer!

    • Taymer permalink*
      November 18, 2010 4:12 pm

      The Vegan Ham is homemade you do not buy it it is a seitam ham will check up on u for Xmas

  7. November 18, 2010 5:17 pm

    Scotts been talking about this recipe since he saw the pic at your house!

  8. November 18, 2010 6:12 pm

    Tay this one looks even nicer than the one you did for the book :)

    Bajan Macaroni Pie is truly something special; it is exceptional when made by someone who knows that they are doing. I have to admit it though, I am a purist when it comes to Macaroni Pie, I really do not like it with the signature Bajan-Ketchup mixture.

    A lot of people do not realize also that the key to cutting perfect squares of macaroni pies lies in the length of time the pie is allowed to rest when it comes out of the oven. Granted, I know that not everyone likes it that way, some people like it loose.

    • Taymer permalink*
      November 18, 2010 6:22 pm

      lol no it doesnt..there are ppl who just saw a glimpse of this in the book and cannot get that photo out of their head but I think I know what you mean I know what u are looking at lol I think when we did the one in the book it was thicker and it needed to cool a little longer Loose macaroni pie is a no no for me…I know some ppl like that right out the oven with mac spilling all over the place thing it is just way too saucy. Mine must have in ketchup but not be stink with ketchup that it looks pink and it taste too sweet. Ok purist..I love yours with pumpkin. Vegans would go crazy for that one had it not have in cheese :P

      • November 23, 2010 12:11 pm

        I remember when I was at university in Barbados and could eat the Bajan macaroni pie every day if I could :-) and I like the what the little touch of ketchup and orange colour does to it. That’s not to say I don’t think a Trini macaroni pie is an amazing thing. But props to our neighbours for having their own spin on the dish! Maybe the vegan version is the recipe I’ll try from your book!

      • enna permalink
        July 4, 2012 4:05 pm

        I bought your vegan cookbook and it just looks amazing. Did you say you have a restaurant in Barbados? If so where? I might be going in the winter time. thanks so much. I love the fact that you have recipes, but also share tips in the book as well as great history. There’s nothing better than really learning and immersing yourself into a different culture. You have done an excellent job at making this vegan cookbook. Many thanks.

      • Taymer permalink*
        July 4, 2012 5:59 pm

        Hi thank you for your kind words I do not have a restaurant and I do not live in Barbados…i am thinking abt one tho

  9. November 23, 2010 6:41 pm

    Not only kids but I know of so many adults that would love this macaroni pie.

  10. November 24, 2010 10:05 pm

    this looks so good…i always call my macaroni & cheese macaroni pie and i never put egg in it and no flour, i use sour cream and evaporated milk, and it looks like pie. enjoy!

  11. Val Kaye permalink
    January 13, 2013 6:10 pm

    I made this for my Trinidadian boyfriend, who has not had it since he turned vegan. He asked me to let you know that it tastes so good he’d bring it to the beach if he were in Trini right now :)

    • Taymer permalink*
      January 13, 2013 11:15 pm

      thank you guys that is really sweet i had it again for xmas when I went to visit my parents in barbados

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