BAKED VEGGIE MAC & CHEESE, ROASTED CRUNCHY BROCCOLI AND VEGAN CHERRY WALNUT OATMEAL COOKIES.

From my picnic with Jason Kachadourian at The Bakery on March 23. Read full interview here.

Baked Veggie Mac & Cheese
Ingredients
5 tbsp. butter (sub Earth Balance)
1/4 cup flour
3 cups milk
1/2 bay leaf
1 pinch cayenne
1 pinch black pepper
1 cup sliced mushrooms (shitake, oyster)
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup shredded Parmasean cheese
3 cups cooked macaroni
1 cup chopped and blanched purple Kale
1/2 cup chopped tomato
Bread crumbs

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large pot melt butter and add flour to form a roux. Slowly add milk while whisking. Add bay leaf, cayenne, black pepper and mushrooms. Bring to a boil; turn down to a simmer for 4 to 5 minutes. Add tomato + purple kale.  Add cheese and melt. Once melted, add macaroni. Bake in casserole dish topped with breadcrumbs for 5 to 7 minutes.

Roasted Crunchy Broccoli
Ingredients
2 heads of broccoli, cut into florets
3 tbsp olive oil
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp lemon juice
Directions: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, toss the broccoli with olive oil, salt, black pepper and garlic. Spread the broccoli in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until florets are tender enough to pierce with a fork and the edges are browning, about 15 minutes, turning once halfway. Squeeze lemon juice over the broccoli before serving.

Vegan Cherry Walnut Oatmeal Cookies
Ingredients:
1 cup flour
3 cups rolled oats
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup apple sauce
3/4 cup Earth Balance or vegan margarine
1 1/2 cup cane sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup or agave
1 1/4 walnuts
1 1/4 cup cherries
tsp orange zest

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, apple sauce, and margarine until smooth and fluffy. Add the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, and stir until well mixed. Add remaining rolled oats, walnuts, cherries, and orange zest. Batter will be very thick, mix until dry ingredients are evenly moistened. In hands roll 2-3 inch balls and flatten slightly onto cookie sheet. Bake 10 – 12 minutes. Let cool, cookies will be soft and chewy.