I was never a big cheese person. Even when I was younger I would make Kraft dinner and just throw out the cheese powder. Yes, that means I’d eat the noodles sometimes with the melted butter, sometimes just with Ketchup. Looking back, what was my mother thinking letting me do this?
As a vegan, I don’t have to worry about cheese anymore. Well not the full fat dairy kind anyway. Vegan cheese is an aquired taste that I haven’t been able to enjoy yet. Daiya is a popular cheese brand for us vegans (Vegnews rated it #1 for Vegan Faourite Cheese this year) but I’m not a big fan. I’m going to have to try it a few more times to come to a solid opinion on it. This version of mac and cheese doesn’t actually have any cheese in it (vegan or non-vegan). I think that’s why it is so delicious.
This butternut squash ‘mac and cheese’ is, in my opinion, way better than the original crap. It is so creamy and flavourful and it will have you going back for seconds, and thirds..
Butternut Squash ‘Mac and Cheese’
- 1 pkg GF brown rice pasta (I used small shells)
- 1/2 cup cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours
- 1 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 cup roasted butternut squash
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup dry white wine
- salt and pepper, to taste
1) Roast your squash (see Butternut Squash Wrap on how to roast it). Cool then remove skin.
2) Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
3) Drain the cashews and add to blender with vegetable broth. Puree for 1-2 minutes until very smooth. Add the butternut squash, nutritional yeast, and lemon juice. Puree until smooth, scrapping down the sides to make sure you get everything.
4) Heat frying on medium-high heat and add olive oil. Add the onion and garlic. Saute for 5 minutes until lightly brown. Add the wine and let boil for 2 minutes to reduce it.
5) Pour 3/4 of the sauce from the blender in a separate bowl. Add the onion/wine mixture to the blender with the remaining 1/4 of sauce. Puree for 30 seconds then pour into bowl with 3/4 sauce. Mix well.
6) Add sauce to pasta. Top with some pecans. Eat and enjoy.