There are many, many things I want to say about this dish. So let’s skip the small talk and get right down to it, okay?
- I call this ‘mac and cheese’, but don’t expect it to taste like the dairy-ridden version. It doesn’t. It’s still completely yummy, though.
- Nutritional yeast lends a cheesy taste to recipes, yet I went easy on it here. I’ve cooked pasta dishes in the past that were doused in it, and the flavour comes on too strong. The cheesy taste here is like a mellow back-up singer, but feel free to add more yeast if you love plenty of it.
- The delicata squash gives this dish a slightly sweet taste, which went perfectly with the other ingredients. Don’t worry, the overall flavour is still savory – I just think this is a nice feature.
- You won’t need to use all of the sauce (unless you really, really love your mac and cheese saucy). Drizzle the leftovers over grilled or steamed veggies, stir the sauce into your favourite grain, or use it as a sandwich spread or dip.
- I added green peas to the dish and to be honest, I wasn’t crazy about them. I’d prefer something a little less starchy – like spinach, kale, broccoli, red pepper or cauliflower. Caramelized onions would be fantastic, too.
- Feel free to include more spices: onion powder, paprika, chili powder or cayenne would give this extra pizzazz. You could also add turmeric for more colour – I actually forgot to do this, but it still turned out quite yellow.
- This recipe makes four servings. It may not seem like a lot when it’s in the pot, but this is very filling. If you’ve got a side dish or two, you’ll be set.
- This recipe rocks.
Okay, now I’m done. Thanks for listening!
Squash Mac and Cheese
gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, vegetarian, egg-free, soy-free
1 small delicata squash, about 2 1/2 cups cubed when raw
3 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/4 cups almond milk
1 cup water
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups gluten-free brown rice elbow pasta, dry
1 cup chopped vegetable of choice (broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, caramelized onion), optional
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Peel and cube your squash, and toss it on a baking sheet with the whole garlic cloves and olive oil. Bake for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the squash can be easily pierced with a fork. The squash will shrink a bit, and you should have about 2 cups once it is cooked.
While the squash is cooking, boil your pasta, drain it in a colander, and set it aside.
If you’re including veggies, chop them up. Depending on what you’re using, or your personal preference, you can steam the veggies or leave them raw.
Allow the squash to cool, then add it to a blender along with the almond milk, water, yeast, mustard and salt. Blend until smooth and creamy. Add more water if needed. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Pour about half of the sauce from the blender into a pot and heat it gently. When the sauce is hot, stir in the cooked pasta and veggies. Cook until everything is heated through.