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Can’t Believe There is No Cheese- Bajan Macaroni Pie

August 10, 2009

 

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Macaroni Pie

Did you know that Barbados is the home of the best Macaroni Pie in the Caribbean? I guess you did not know but I am telling you now. All islands make a version of this dish and I have tried many of them in my pre  vegan days and there is nothing that beats a good Bajan Macaroni Pie.I could hear the teeth sucking now from all my Caribbean people but some places are better at doing certain things like Trinidad and Guyana makes better rotis than the other islands.  Sometimes the only dish some people can cook is macaroni pie since it is such a favourite and sometimes men measure a woman by her pie making skills. Yes I am serious ask anyone! What is Macaroni Pie anyways many of you are asking? It is similar to Mac and Cheese but it is not as wetty and there are many interesting flavour notes that are in this pie. That orange American processed cheese is a no no in this pie.When cooled it can be cut and it a side at Sunday Bajan Lunch. The main ingredient is New Zealand Cheddar Cheese and long macaroni that I broken into 1.5 inch pieces. Sometimes a roux is made and herbs and spices are added and it is baked to perfection. Many visitors to the island love this dish as it is available is most restaurants. Unfortunately for us vegans macaroni pie Bajan style is out of the question but I have developed a recipe that can trick expert macaroni pie lovers that I made it with rich New Zealand Cheddar when I did not. There are many vegan mac and cheese recipes all over but I promise you that you would love this one and no one can never guess it is vegan.

The requirements for a good Bajan Macaroni Pie are :-that it must be rich is flavour but not overly so. You must be able to cut it in neat little squares when it is cooled and it must  have that fantastic   light yellow orange ish reddish colour. It should  taste good on its own.When you bake it your kitchen should smell heavenly and take you back to the easy Sunday afternoon lunch in Barbados even if you never been there.

The Dilema

How the hell was I suppose to replicate this dish without New Zealand Cheddar? I first made a tofu “soft cheddar” which was made with medium firm tofu and a little tumeric and blended  to medium smooth. I made a roux that was out of this world good to give me some extra binder, I added 3 tbs coconut milk just to get the fat content up there like the real thing but not overly so.When I was finished I had a raw mixture that resembled my dads old vegetarian macaroni pie. The smell was the same and I could not stop eating the un baked mixture.

Un baked Mixture and the Tofu Cheddar Consistency
Un baked Mixture and the Tofu Cheddar Consistency

The Secret Ingredients

My husband does not allow me to have ketchup in the house but you cannot make Bajan Macaroni Pie without it duh. Lucky for me I snagged a few packs in a restaurant so I was able to do this dish( No you will not be seeing my mugshot anytime soon for being a packaged ketchup theif). American mustard gives the colour and a sharp taste to the pie but it is not overpowering. Grated onions give  a sweet flavour and also lend in the flavour department.Bajan seasoning was used here in small quantities but the winning herbs which perked up the pie and really sealed the deal was a mixture of fresh thyme and parsley from my garden.This is what gives that background flavour to this pie.

The Result

OMG . This taste like macaroni pie from home. I know I will have skeptics about this but I will fight for this recipe. This is one recipe I would push for people to make because it is  very good does not have that yeasty tofu trying to be macaroni and cheese taste. I promise you that you will be a star at the next potluck if you make this and you can thank me later.

 

Update-Testers Needed for this Recipe ( It is not too much work)

I have had more than enough request for testers for this so I am not going to be accepting anymore. The other ppl who requested will get to test another recipe to test and that will be it. Thanks so much to my testers.

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25 Comments leave one →
  1. August 10, 2009 10:49 pm

    Listen, I am going to have to take away that Bajan passport from you! (lol) No cheese in Macaroni Pie?! wuh loss! 🙂

  2. Taymer permalink*
    August 11, 2009 12:03 am

    Ha ha ha lol. Laugh all you want but I promise you one day I will be in the National Heroes line up for this one. It tasted just like I remembered grease in the plate and all.

  3. August 11, 2009 12:29 am

    That looks so crunchy and creamy and delish! (It really doesn’t even LOOK vegan- I would have been fooled.) I like how you got all scientific there. I wonder if this is the recipe that will make you famous! 🙂

  4. Taymer permalink*
    August 11, 2009 12:31 am

    Ha ha I wonder too only time will tell.

  5. August 11, 2009 6:41 am

    I make mac and cheese casserole all the time and it is even better vegan than back when I used to eat animal products like cheese. A quix roux made of nutritional yeast is definitely key. Love your photos, just gorgeous!

    • BajanPrincess permalink
      May 19, 2011 11:20 pm

      hi! how do u make your nutritional yeast roux??? I’m interested to know as I am also vegan…and pregnat! so I am missing some good bajan food!

      • Taymer permalink*
        May 20, 2011 12:23 pm

        where r u living …if you are in barbados my book Caribbean Vegan sells in every bookstore there and they recipe is the first in the entree section.
        You make a regular roux using soymilk and vegan margarine and then add about a heaping teaspoon or two of yeast flakes and add some mustard along with it.

  6. August 11, 2009 11:15 pm

    The macaroni pie looks delicious – love the post, and I’m always curious to learn about food traditions like this, that I at least don’t necessarily associate with the Caribbean…but I’ve never been to the islands, so what do I know? 🙂 So much of this region is a blank spot for me when it comes to cooking, so thanks again for the great info!

    • Taymer permalink*
      August 12, 2009 10:18 am

      Hi Mike You are right ppl do not associate these types of foods with the Caribbean but they exist and it is such a fun and colourful mixing pot of traditions. People can tend to be intimidated by it a little as it is not as mainstream as some other cuisines.It is very difficult getting that acceptance out there esp writing about it from a vegan perspective

  7. August 12, 2009 10:14 pm

    um, i give this recipe 10 stars… and i haven’t even made it yet. it sounds exceptionally awesome!

  8. August 13, 2009 7:00 am

    Oh yes, me please, I will be your tester! That looks so yummy. This post really made me laugh.

  9. Maren permalink
    August 13, 2009 9:10 am

    Me, too, please!! I would love to be your tester. I work with a fairly conservative group of non-vegetarian / non-vegan women. We have monthly group lunches where we share our cooking. I love to introduce them to vegan dishes that surprise them – especially if they can relate to something known. And who is not familiar with mac n’ cheese? I would love to try this recipe out on them!

  10. August 14, 2009 11:11 am

    I’d love to be your tester! Even though I make my own variations of mac and “cheese”, I always like to try other people’s recipes.

  11. August 16, 2009 12:25 am

    That macaroni pie looks great! I love Bajan macaroni pie (and the orangey colour from the ketchup!) but my Trini bones won’t go as far as saying Bajan is best 😀 But I do make sure I have it every time I visit.

  12. September 7, 2009 11:49 pm

    Oh my….I cannot belive this blog exists. I cannot tell you how happy I am to have found it. As a gyal that grew up on Trini food, your recipes are going to come in good as I make my journey to becoming vegan. And this macaroni pie (and we all know trinis make the best macaroni pie :)) WOW. A pie without the cheese. I have got to try this one!

    Looking forward to your posts!

  13. Kathryn permalink
    September 20, 2009 11:48 pm

    Do you have measurements for this recipe? I would love to try it out. Thanks.

  14. September 26, 2009 3:48 pm

    Oh my stars. My mouth is watering. Can not WAIT for you to publish this recipe, because vegans need an award winning version of this dish, LOL!

    Faith

  15. Celeste Shoulders permalink
    November 12, 2009 12:29 pm

    Even though you are not testing the No Cheese – Banjan Macaroni Pie, I would like to get ahold of this recipe. My brother has kidney problems and can no longer eat cheese and has always loved macaronic and cheese. I haven’t been able to find a non-cheese recipe and ran into this website. It looks delicious. Just want to try it. If you could share it with me, I would really appreciate it. Thanks.

  16. December 17, 2009 12:52 am

    One time, my (Chiney Trini) granny grated ALL the cheese (the big block) daddy brought from home and put it in macaroni for the children (not baked). She STILL hearing bout his cheese and how “Yuh not suppostuh GRATE dat cheese!” and how he “woulda gone by Publix and BUY cheese fuh macaroni if she want cheese!” “Publix got naff cheese fuh macaroni!”

    Suffice it to say, we love a pieceacheese. When I am being a good vegan I use nutritional yeast and olive oil. I’ve never tried tofu.

    As for ketchup…it is STANDARD. Get the organic stuff – make your husband compromise!

    • Taymer permalink*
      December 17, 2009 1:00 am

      lol u do not mess with cheese that someone bring back from home. let me know if u need any of the recipes for immediate use

      • December 17, 2009 1:32 am

        oh my goodness…i have a SLIVER in the fridge of the one they are making now with vegetable rennet. Can you tell me why the cheese is now mostly blue and I refuse to throw it out?
        I nibbled on it the other day like a mouse hoarding for the winter!

        I am currently reading through your posts and thinking about what I can cook this vacation. I get two weeks off and happen to be going to an area where there are a lot of Seventh Day Adventists (no, not King Street), so I plan on checking out their grocery store.

      • Taymer permalink*
        December 17, 2009 9:57 am

        u can join the tester blog if u like it isprivate so u will have to email me ur worpres user nme soi can add u

      • December 18, 2009 10:33 am

        I don’t have a WordPress account. Will have to set one up later – am on the way out the door for a flight. Can you email me so I have your email address?

  17. alex permalink
    March 16, 2011 11:49 am

    um as long as i have been eatin pie i never came across this 1 but it should help in my vegan exam 😀

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  1. Caribbean macaroni pie and coconut turnovers : Thrifty Living

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