Who doesn’t like a bit of comfort food every now and again? Especially in the form of good old´Mac & Cheese… But why not make it healthy and guilt-free, yet taste just as good (I promise!). And when my husband approves (who is the first to snub his nose up to anything overtly healthy or “clean”) – I knew it was a winner. I hope you love it too.
I originally got this recipe from my dear friend Charlotte, and it really is the most creamy and tasty Mac & Cheese you will come across – and perfect for those upcoming autumnal nights where you want something wholesome, comforting and warming. With the combination of the flavoursome butternut squash, cashew nuts and nutritional yeast – you won’t even miss the real cheese! And the best part? It won’t leave you feeling sluggish or heavy after eating it (which the real deal so many times can do) – meaning you can have an extra large dollop of the good grub (winning!).
VEGAN BUTTERNUT MAC & CHEESE
400 g pasta (I like to use spelt or brown rice pasta), 1 butternut squash, 1 red chilli, 1-2 spring onions, 3 crushed garlic cloves, 2 dl soaked cashew nuts, 2-3 dl nutritional yeast, juice of ½ lemon, 1 dl unsweetened almond milk, 2-3 tbsp dijon mustard, parsley, panko flakes (or regular breadcrumbs), himalayan salt & black pepper.
1. Soak the cashews overnight, or whilst you start preparing the rest (ideally at least an hour of soaking).
2. Heat the oven to 200°C. Halve, peel, deseed and cube the butternut squash, sprinkle with salt and roast in the oven for 40 min.
3. Finely slice the spring onion and chilli and set aside.
4. Rinse the soaked cashews. Blend with lemon juice and almond milk until smooth. Add the garlic, nutritional yeast, dijon and blend again.
5. Remove the butternut squash from the oven and blend until smooth, then mix with the cashew sauce and blend again. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the red chilli and spring onion to the sauce.
6. Boil water and cook the pasta. Rinse and add to the sauce mixing until coated.
7. Serve as is in a bowl with a sprinkling of panko flakes (or regular breadcrumbs) over the pasta and pop under the grill for 5 minutes until crispy and golden on top. Sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley, chilli and serve.