Hello. My name is Lisa Kilgour. I am a Nutritionist, but I don't like recipes.
Phew - I'm glad to get that monkey off my back. Many assume that since I help people with their eating habits then I must love love love recipes.
I have recipes, a few of them I even use on occasion, but mostly I collect recipes so I have something to share with my clients who are recipe lovers. Something I am definitely not.
But, there are a few recipes (maybe 2 or 3) that I LOVE and pull out regularly. This is one of them. It may look a bit odd, you might think that won't be very tasty unless you've been eating a super clean diet for a long time, but it's actually amazingly delicious. I've made this for people with all sorts of styles of eating (clean eaters, vegans, carnivores, process food junkies) and all have loved it.
Actually - the client who told me about this recipe fed it to her teenage daughters and they loved it too. Just don't tell them it wasn't real mac 'n' cheese...shhhhhhh.
The original version of this recipe can be found on the wonderful website Oh She Glows. If you haven't been there before, check it out and be amazed by all of the wonderful recipes.
This is my version of her creation...I can't help tweaking recipes, it's a compulsion.
Butternut Squash Mac ‘n Cheeze
- 1 butternut squash, peeled and chopped (yields: 3.5 cups raw), or 1 cup of canned butternut squash (makes things easier :)
- 3/4 cup raw cashews (soaked ahead would be great, but okay if you forgot)
- 1.5 cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened + unflavoured coconut milk), or more to thin out
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 tsp sea 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
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/4-1/2 tsp Paprika + more to season
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 4.5 cups dry macaroni for the casserole
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. Skip this step if using canned squash
2. If making the baked casserole: Process 1 slice of bread + 1 tbsp of butter 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, oil) 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. I usually forget to process the cashews first - it still works :).
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 (or add the canned squash). 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 zucchini 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.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!