I recently received a review copy of Keep It Vegan: Over 100 Simple, Healthy & Delicious Dishes by Aine Carlin, and am sharing my favorite recipe, mac n’ no-cheese with crispy kale because if there’s one stereotype about vegans that rings true, it is our undying love of kale.

If this cookbook and my cookbook went to high school together, they probably wouldn’t have hung out. Keep It Vegan is very lady-like, where as my book has several references to Cannibal Corpse and Skeletonwitch. However, if these cookbooks were to meet again after college, I believe they would become friends over the common love of vegan tacos.

I found a lot of dishes in this book to recommend to my newbie vegan friends, and some fun twists like Indian Tacos and Bloody Mary Bruschetta to try myself.

For the crispy kale:

  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 & 1/4 cups kale, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes
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Macaro-no Cheese with Crispy Kale

Macaro-o Cheese with Crispy Kale

By BakeandDestroy Published: January 28, 2015

  • Yield: 2-4 Servings

From the author: The one thing I often encounter when people discover I’m vegan is an immediate lamentation for my cheese-less existence. It’s true that cheese is no longer a part of my life, and despite having previously spent most of my days as a total dairy fiend, even I can’t quite fathom why I simply don’t miss it. Perhaps in part it has a lot to do with dishes like this one, which perfectly replicates that ultimate comfort food feel—and something tells me you won’t be boo-hooing about the lack of cheddar either.



  1. Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
  2. Place the squash, flesh side down, in a roasting pan and pour in about 1/2 cup water. Bake in the oven for 1 hour or until the flesh is completely soft. Leave the oven at the same temperature to cook the kale later on. Set the squash aside to cool slightly before scooping out the flesh with a spoon and blending with the coconut milk to a smooth purée in a blender.
  3. Pour the purée into a saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer before adding the Dijon mustard, crumbled bouillon cube, and cider vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and add a little water to loosen the sauce. Continue to simmer for another 20 minutes until it thickens and turns pale yellow.
  4. Bring a large pan of salted water to boil. Add the pasta and cook for just slightly under the recommended time.
  5. While the pasta is cooking, rub the olive oil all over the kale pieces. (See note below for measurements.) Spread out on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 8–10 minutes or until completely crisp. Sprinkle sea salt flakes over the top.
  6. Drain the macaroni and transfer to the pan of squash sauce. Stir to combine and heat through gently over low heat for about 5 minutes. Serve in heated bowls and top with the salty, crispy kale.

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