BUTTERNUT SQUASH MAC AND “CHEESE” (VEGAN)

This sauce is my mac and cheese substitute go-to. It is yummy, warming, ooey, gooey, cheesy goodness. Minus the cheese of course. I love to use quinoa pasta here for that extra kick of protein to keep you feeling full for longer. Plus! Quinoa pasta tastes delicious for anyone that hasn’t tried it. If you cant find quinoa pasta, I suggest brown rice pasta or chickpea/lentil pasta too.

Every time me and my fellow nutritionist girlfriends get together, we make this. I’m not kidding. Every. Single. Time. It’s just one of those dishes that never fails to disappoint. And not only is it a hit with adults, kids love it too making it the perfect way to get out of your boxed-mac-and-cheese-rut. They won’t even know they are eating a sauce made out of vegetables!

Butternut squash is one of my favorite ingredients.

  • It is ultra high in fibre which helps your digestion run smoothly and helps feed the good bacteria in your gut
  • one cup provides 437% of your daily vitamin A intake! Necessary for eye health and skin health
  • It’s super high in vitamin E which is a potent antioxidant as well as B vitamins which are needed for energy production

 

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would you check that cheese pull though??? wow.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb quinoa pasta (could also use brown rice or chickpea/lentil pasta)
  • 1 butternut squash, whole
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • Dairy-free, soy-free cheese topping (I used Daiya)

METHOD

  • Preheat oven to 375F. Grease a casserole dish with olive oil and set aside.
  • Peel and chop the butternut squash into (roughly) 1 inch cubes. In a pot with a steamer basket, steam the squash for 7-10 minutes until soft and fork tender. This can be done a day ahead.
  • Next, Dice the onion and chop the garlic. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large saucepan and cook the onion over medium heat for 5 minutes and then add the garlic. Continue to cook until the onion is translucent but not browned.
  • In a food processor, add the steamed butternut squash, the onion, garlic and 1 1/2 cups almond milk and puree until smooth and creamy. The sauce should be thick and creamy.┬áDepending on how big your squash was you may need to add another 1/2 – 1 cups almond milk.
  • Transfer the sauce to a large pot over low heat. Add the salt, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, mustard powder, and paprika. Stir to combine and remove from heat while you prepare the pasta.
  • In a pot of salted water, cook the pasta according to the package directions until it is al dente. Do not overcook. Slightly underdone is always better as it will continue to cook in the oven.
  • Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and stir to combine. Taste and season with more sea salt if desired. Pour all of the pasta and sauce into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle with non-dairy cheese on top.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until top is melted and gooey.
  • Serve and enjoy!

 

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