Vegan Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

So, a few weeks ago one of the boyfriend’s nieces had her 5th birthday party. I decided to make a bunch of Vegan food because not only are myself and my boyfriend Vegan, his dad and one of his sisters are too! I truly love cooking for other people, and although I woke up at 7 AM on a Sunday and cooked for 5 hours, I still enjoyed doing it. For the party I tried to make things that everyone at the party would eat, on the menu was: Spinach Artichoke Dip, Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese, Shepherds Pie, and Swedish Meatballs (I will be posting the Shepherds Pie and Swedish Meatball recipes soon!). I definitely deserved my mimosa after all this cooking!

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Ingredients:

-1 butternut squash

-2 teaspoons of oil of your choice — I rotate between Safflower and Coconut

-1 box pasta of your choice — y’all know I love Ludenberg’s Organic, Gluten Free, Brown Rice Pastas

-1.5 C unsweetened, unflavored almond milk

-1/4 Cup raw cashews

-5 Tablespoons nutritional yeast

-1/2 Tablespoon dijon mustard

-1 clove garlic, minced

-Salt and pepper to taste

-1/2 teaspoon turmeric (for add color, and all it’s great health benefits!)

-1/2 teaspoon paprika

-Cayenne pepper (optional)

-2 handfuls spinach

-1/2 head broccoli, chopped

-Sprinkle of hemp hearts for topping

Directions:

-Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil

-Peel and chop the butternut squash. Transfer squash to a bowl and add the oil and salt. Mix around until combined and all squash is covered. Transfer to the lined baking sheet and spread out evenly. Bake 30 minutes or until soft

-Meanwhile, start to boil water for the pasta. Cook according to package directions. Once cooked, drain and add the pasta back into your pot

For The Cheese:

-In a blender combine almond milk, cashews, nutritional yeast, dijon mustard, garlic, salt and pepper, turmeric, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Blend until smooth

-Add half of the roasted butternut squash to the blender and blend again until smooth

-Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta in the pot and turn the heat to medium just to warm it up. Mix until well combined. Add the spinach, broccoli, and the remaining half of the butternut squash and mix again. Sprinkle hemp hearts over the top and serve — the heat of the pasta mixture will soften the vegetables, but if you like your broccoli/spinach cooked more I would suggest sauteing them quickly before adding them to the pot

-Or, you can place the mac and cheese in a casserole dish and bake it at 350 for 20 minutes. Baked mac and cheese is my favorite but I’m afraid it may have dried out this particular mac and cheese. It was still amazing but I think next time I’m going to try sauteing my veggies and just eating as is!

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I don’t have my typical photo of the meal on a plate because by the time we got to the party and ate I 100% forgot to do so! But you get the idea 😉

XOXO

I also wanted to share a book with you that I just recently finished. It’s called ‘Wellth’ by Jason Wachob and I highly recommend reading it. On the cover it says “How I learned to build a life, not a resume,” and I loved it! The author is the founder and CEO of MindBodyGreen , which is a website that I now check daily for healthy living tips, articles, recipes, you name it. The definition of wellth is: “A new and more valuable life currency: a life exemplified by abundance, happiness, purpose, health, and joy.” Sign me up for all of those things! I am so glad I bought this book and can have it on my shelf for forever . . . something I will continue to read throughout my life!

***shout out to my girl Jackie for recommending this book (and many others) to me! I’m obsessed with her new site: http://www.thefreckledrunner.com/index.php/author/jackie72690gmail-com/ definitely check it out!***

Through reading this book I also discovered a new app that I also now use in my daily life, called Healthy Living. It’s a free app that scans foods and other products to tell you weather or not it is Vegan! A few posts back I recommended a similar app to you, Is It Vegan? and I actually use both apps! Sometimes a product will be on one app and not the other so it’s great to have two resources to use at the grocery store! It’s funny because I never thought I would be the person doing research on their phone in the grocery store isles but hey, I would rather be safe than sorry ❤ Let me know if you read the book/use the apps and what you think!

 

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