Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Squashin' Macaroni & Cheese

Since I have given up dairy and soy to see if that makes a difference in Simon's comfort level I have been craving cheese in the worst way! Big surprise ... right?!? The kids aren't helping at all. For two nights in a row they have been asking for macaroni and cheese. Usually, not a problem for me, but even my Vegan Mac & Cheese recipe has soy in it. After two days of asking, I realized it was time for a new macaroni and cheese recipe. Kids, make a note: Persistence pays off!

Right now, I have about 10 squash in the basement (all different styles). Since I just used acorn squash for my Vegan Alfredo Sauce, I decided to go with the humble butternut squash. I used a lot of the same ingredients as my Vegan Mac & Cheese because I love the flavor and let's face it, if it's not broken, why fix it? But, because the squash is so creamy, there isn't a need for tofu.

The outcome was perfect ... well, almost. I added turmeric, which I absolutely love and the health benefits are great! It's an anti-inflammatory, it increases your antioxidants, it is said to help prevent and possibly treat cancer, it's thought to delay aging and this is just naming a few benefits, there are so many more! I'll just tell you that I try to sneak turmeric in wherever I can! Sorry, back to the pasta! So, I added turmeric, but the added spice made it too zesty for the kids. After two nights of asking for macaroni and cheese and finally getting it, they couldn't handle more than about five bites! They got a quick tortilla pizza instead. Sorry kids, but mommy and daddy loved the turmeric!

By the way, the lack of dairy and soy doesn't seem to be making a difference just yet but I'm giving it a bit longer. The chiropractor visits seem to be doing wonders though ... yeah!!!!

Vegan Butternut Squash Macaroni & Cheese

Squashin' Macaroni & Cheese

Serves 4

1 butternut squash
1 med onion, diced
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cups almond milk
1/3 c nutritional yeast
1 T dijon mustard
1 T lemon juice
1/2 t turmeric (optional)
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1 packed cup spinach, julienned
16 oz noodles

Cut butternut squash in half and remove the seeds. Lay face down in a pan filled with 1/2 in of water. Roast them at 375ยบ for 40-45 minutes or until very tender.

Cook pasta according to directions.

In a pot, heat a little oil and add in onion and garlic. Once tender and fragrant, turn off heat.

Scoop your squash into the pot with your onions and add in milk, nutritional yeast, mustard, lemon, salt, pepper and turmeric. Remember, the turmeric gives a little bite which I absolutely love, but the kids wouldn't eat it so know your audience before adding it in.

Using your immersion blender, mix all ingredients. I didn't go crazy with the mixing so there were still a few chunks of onion that you could see. Next, add in your spinach. The heat of the sauce will wilt your greens just a little bit.

Mix in your noodles and serve.

Vegan Butternut Squash Macaroni & Cheese

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