I miss comfort foods. I have Southern roots and nothing says happiness to me like fried chicken with mashed potatoes, homemade mac ‘n cheese and biscuits dripping with real butter. Yeah, since that’s not going to happen (I don’t care HOW BIG of a food magician you are, you are not replicating fried chicken deliciousness into oil-free vegan food in any meaningful way.)
I did take a stab at the mac ‘n cheese tonight and was very pleasantly surprised. It was actually really creamy and tasted close enough to the real thing that I got positive responses all the way around the table.
Butternut Squash Mac ‘n Cheese by Veggie Inspired was exactly what I was looking for. It has NO nutritional yeast (hooray!) and I had all the ingredients (including the butternut squash) already in my pantry, so I was excited to try it.
It was actually pretty simple, too!I peeled my squash, scraped out the seeds and cut it into 1″ chunks. I then cut up some sweet onion and threw them in a pot with water to boil until tender. It look close to 20 minutes since I chose to double the recipe. While those were simmering I placed blanched almonds into a bowl and covered with boiling water to soften.The recipe actually calls for cashews, but since my daughter is allergic I substituted it out.I loved the spices that’s this recipe called for. Garlic powder, smoked paprika, turmeric, pepper, salt and citrus (I used lime instead of lemon.) The recipe also called for nutmeg. My family usually isn’t a fan of nutmeg in savory dishes, but I usually try and follow the recipe the first time out the gate, so I did add 1/2 of the called for nutmeg. Fresh is best, but very potent, which is why I didn’t use the whole amount. I’m glad I did. It was perfect! I wouldn’t change it a bit. Once the squash and onions were soft, everything went into the blender. I blended it for quite a while, probably a good 3 minutes or so to get it light, fluffy and perfectly smooth.
I had pre-cooked the quinoa macaroni so once the sauce was creamy enough for my liking, I blended it all together.
The tangy zing from the citrus and mustard was just the thing my taste buds have been missing. I made a double recipe and we only have one small serving left! I served it with steamed broccoli and fresh fruit.
Everyone agreed this is going into the dinner rotation.
I also loved that this was ready in around 40 minutes, start to finish.
Also, I just busted out the size 12 pants last night. Can I get a woot woot?!?!