This week was one of those rare times that the media made mention of a comic book story. The 900th (!) issue of Action Comics showed Superman giving up his US citizenship in order to better and more fairly serve all the people of the world. On the whole, this is definitely a positive statement, but I do have somewhat mixed thoughts. You might guess that my staff and I are pretty much to the left of most issues. More than that, it just doesn’t feel as tho’ there’s been too much to be proud of about our country recently. But see, I want to feel patriotic. I want to think the US will help people who need it and set a good example on the world stage. In the pages of a comic book was one of the few places that I could still feel that way. This post could just as easily be about Captain America – any superhero who acted on America’s behalf but without any political or corporate ties. I liked to think (and we’re talking currently, not during my childhood) that as long as those icons, those modern-day myths, still had stories to tell that America could still be a positive force and an inspiration, if only in people’s imaginations. So the sad thing for me is that world events have become such that it’s necessary for even our imaginations and myths to take on new rules. “Truth, justice, and the American global way.” Ehn, not quite the same ring to it. Fortunately, one of Superman’s other guidelines is that all life is precious. So vegans still have that.

This mac and cheese dish is certainly super – in fact, the way I go on about it, you’d think it was the only food in the world. We even brought out DC comics’ other big icon to talk about this before, but it was time to share it again so you can get the recipe. There are no store-bought “cheese” products in this! The cheese part is entirely from scratch and I swear it’s better than any other mac n cheese I’ve had, real or otherwise.

4 quarts water
¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
8 ounces macaroni
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons + 1/3 c. non-hydrogenated margarine
¼ teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons shallots (or scallions)
1 cup red or yellow potatoes, peeled and chopped
¼ cup carrots, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup onion, peeled and chopped
1 cup water
¼ cup raw cashews
2 teaspoons sea salt
¼ teaspoon garlic, minced

In a large pot, bring the water and salt to a boil. Add macaroni and cook until al dente. Drain pasta and rinse with cold water. Set aside in 9 x 12 casserole dish. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan, add shallots, potatoes, carrots, onion, and water, and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and simmer for 15 minutes, or until vegetables are very soft. In a blender, process the cashews, salt, garlic, 1/3 cup margarine (melted), mustard, lemon juice, black pepper, and cayenne. Add softened vegetables and cooking water to the blender and process until perfectly smooth. Pour sauce over prepared macaroni and stir until well blended. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and paprika. Bake for 30 minutes or until “cheese” sauce is bubbling and the top has turned golden brown.

Much thanks to D Miller at the First Universalist Society in Franklin, MA for posting this. The dish has been a huge help in keeping me on a vegan path.

How do you feel about the man of steel renouncing his American citizenship?