Fall is here! It took me a while to get used to the thought of giving up sunshine swims and flowery dresses, but I’m officially excited for Fall. I’m excited about layers, knitted scarves, hot chocolate, pumpkin pie, colourful leaves and doing puzzles (our newest addiction).
Let’s get cheesy
This Vegan Butternut Squash Mac N’ Cheese is something I’ve been playing around with for a while. I love using cashews as an alternative to cream-based sauces and adding in veggies to make it smooth and nutrient-dense, like butternut squash and cauliflower. I am always so impressed with how versatile plant-foods can be, and how simple it is to mimic old-time favourites while sticking to wholesome ingredients.
Don’t be sceptical
Now I know that many traditional Mac n’ Cheese lovers out there will be slightly disappointed. I mean, let’s get real, this isn’t actually made with cheese. However, I’d say it’s pretty darn close to the original consistency and it’s insanely comforting. It’s the perfect meal for when you need something comforting but also don’t want to disrupt your hormones. #periodfood.
It’s boyfriend approved
Yes, he approves! It’s:
So let’s get cooking!
- 1 cup of cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight
- 1 small butternut squash
- 1 cup of cauliflower florets
- 2 garlic cloves, with the skin on
- 1 tbsp. of oil – I used avocado oil
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1/2 cup of non-dairy milk of your choice (unsweetened almond, cashew or oat milk)
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- Salt and pepper
- A pinch of paprika
- 1 bag of macaroni pasta – I used brown rice pasta
- Soak the cashews in water overnight, 4 hours minimum. This gives the sauce a creamy texture, I wouldn’t recommend skipping this step.
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- While you wait for the oven to heat, cook the pasta according to instructions.
- Cut the butternut squash lengthways and then into slices. Add to a baking dish with the cauliflower and garlic cloves and drizzle in oil, salt and pepper. Bake (with the skin on the squash) for about 35 minutes, or until soft and lightly browned. Check on the garlic to make sure it does not burn.
- Remove the veggies from the oven. Peel the skin from the butternut squash.
- In a high-speed blender, or large food processor, add HALF of the roasted butternut squash, the cauliflower, the garlic, water, non-dairy milk, nutritional yeast and cashews. Add lots of salt and pepper, to taste, as well as a pinch of paprika. Blend until it becomes super creamy.
- When you are ready to serve the pasta, heat the sauce with a bit of water and then pour over the pasta. Garnish with fresh parsley and more nutritional yeast. I also love adding the other half of the squash into my pasta in cube form.
I’d love to hear from you! Did you try this recipe? What did you think?