Fall Comfort Food: Vegan Butternut Squash Mac n’ Cheese!

I have been waiting nearly a year to make vegan mac n’ cheese because every recipe I came across just seemed SO time consuming and SO expensive and just SO much more complicated than the powder+water+butter= Mac n’ Cheese I had been used to making for the first 17 years of my life. The glorious day FINALLY came a week ago when I went to a Fall Glam Housewarming/Potluck/Party and I was looking to impress an inspiring group of lady power vegans and let me tell you it was well worth the extra bucks and the extra efforts!

I found a recipe online by googling “best vegan mac n’ cheese” (easiest way to find awesome vegan recipes: google it) and low and behold I got a pretty darn good lookin’ recipe that included hidden things like potatoes! onions! cashews! carrots! and shallots…

which I actually just assumed were scallions

but clearly are not

but still tasted DELICIOUS in the mac n’ cheese!

 

What is so great about this recipe is that the cheesey sauce is actually made out of all those wonderful vegetables! So even though you feel like you’re eating a meal full of carbs and gooey nutritionally void deliciousness, you’re actually eating carbs and nutritionally packed deliciousness! HELL YEAH VEGANISM!

So without further ado, I bring to youu, the recipe! (The original can be found here but I altered it so there’s more sauce, more whole grains, scallion, and butternut squash!! YAY for experimental/ accidental/ spontaneous cooking!)

Ingredients!

  • 14-16 ounces whole wheat macaroni
  • 4 slices of whole grain bread, torn into large pieces
  • 2 tablespoons + 1/3 cup non-hydrogenated margarine
  • 2 tablespoons scallions, chopped
  • 2 small/medium red potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 butternut squash, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

What You Do:

  1. Cook macaroni in a large pot until al dente. Drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside.
  2. In a food processor, (or your roommates old blender!) make breadcrumbs by pulverizing the bread and 2 tablespoons margarine to a medium-fine texture. Set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan, add scallions, potatoes, carrots, butternut squash, onion, and water, and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and simmer for 15 minutes, or until vegetables are very soft.
  4. In a blender, process the cashews, salt, garlic, 1/3 cup margarine, mustard, lemon juice, black pepper, and cayenne. Add softened vegetables and cooking water to the blender and process until perfectly smooth. Mmmm cheesy sauce!
  5. In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta and blended cheese sauce until completely coated. Spread mixture into a 9 x 12 casserole dish, sprinkle with prepared bread crumbs, and dust with paprika. Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese sauce is bubbling and the top has turned golden brown.
  6. Nom with friends!


^_____^ Happy Eating! ❤ Abby

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