BUTTERNUT SQUASH MACARONI AND CHEESE
No ifs ands or buts about it, folks love their macaroni and cheese. It could be the ultimate comfort food. Well, what if I told you that you can actually make macaroni and cheese that is actually a lot better for you that doesn’t have any dairy? You’d think I was crazy.
She found it on a popular website called http://ohsheglows.com
Not only is this delicious, but it’s not bad for you either. The ingredients include butternut squash which is high in vitamin A, has lots of anti-oxidants and helps you control cholesterol and lose weight. Another key ingredient that helps with the non-dairy cheese is cashews. The nuts are low in fat, help reduce Triglycerides, and lowers your risk of cardio vascular and coronary heart disease.
Enjoy this comfort food without the dairy and of course that vegan thing.
• 1/2 butternut squash, peeled and chopped (yields: 3.5 cups raw)
• 3/4 cup raw cashews
• 1 cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened + unflavoured almond milk), or more to thin out
• 3 garlic cloves
• 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
• 2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
• 6-7 tbsp Nutritional yeast (provides the cheesy consistency)
• 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
• 1/2 tsp or a bit more of dried Italian seasoning
• 1/4-1/2 tsp Tumeric powder, optional (gives the orangey colour)
• Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• 1/4-1/2 tsp Paprika + more to season
• Your pasta of choice (I used ~450 grams/4.5 cups dry penne for the casserole) + mix-ins
1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet. In a bowl, season chopped squash with some oil (~1 tsp) and kosher salt (couple pinches) and stir. Add to baking sheet and roast in oven for 40 minutes, flipping once half way through baking.
2. If making the baked casserole: Process 1 slice of bread + 1 tbsp Earth balance until crumbs form in a food processor. Set aside. If you plan on enjoying it straight from the pot you can skip this step.
3. Assemble your cheeze sauce ingredients (cashews, non-dairy milk, garlic, lemon, salt, nutritional yeast, pepper, mustard, seasonings) and add just the cashews to food processor. Process until a fine crumb forms similar to corn meal. Now add in the rest of the cheese sauce ingredients and process until smooth. Leave the sauce in the processor as you will be adding the squash.
4. Cook your pasta according to package directions. When squash is finished roasting, add it to the food processor and blend it with the cheese sauce until smooth. Adjust to taste. The sauce will thicken up with time. If at any point the sauce becomes too thick, you can add a bit of milk to thin it out.
5. Drain and rinse pasta with cold water. Now add the pasta back into the same pot and add your desired amount of cheeze sauce on top. Stir well. Add in any desired mix-ins like peas or broccoli. You can either heat this up in the pot, or pour it into a casserole dish (I used a 4 cup dish), sprinkle on breadcrumbs + paprika, and bake it at 350 for about 20-25 minutes. The casserole will serve about 4 people if you use 450 grams dry macaroni or penne. Store any leftover sauce in the fridge and use within a few days.