Butternut Squash Mac & "Cheese" {dairy-free, gluten free}

All the deliciousness of mac and cheese, but without the dairy! Butternut Squash Mac & "Cheese" is a quick, healthy and veggie-loaded twist on my personal favorite comfort food.

You know...veggies are pretty stinking amazing. They can take on many forms, flavors and consistencies. They nourish our bodies with the most vital of nutrients and can easily be wiggled into to many delicious recipes. 

Trust me. I know. I do it on a daily basis.

Butternut Squash Mac & "Cheese" {dairy-free, gluten free}

In case you are new around these parts or simply haven't noticed, I tend to add veggies to everything and anything that I can. I've been doing it for years. Long before The Natural Nurturer came about, I was pureeing butternut squash and adding to conventional mac & cheese. Even when we were still eating the box kind, I would whip up some butternut squash puree and stir it into the cheese sauce so that I could dose my family with some veggie-goodness....that they might otherwise protest.

A few years back, my family and I started greatly reducing our dairy intake. We had noticed that it was messing with (then toddler) Alice's digestive track (a constipated baby = grumpy and irrational baby) and that it wasn't really doing mine or my husband's any favors either.

So we started buying almond milk instead of cow's milk and (much to all of our disappointment) started treating traditional cheese like a treat....something that was rare and special. 

While we have mostly adjusted to are now-mostly-dairy-free life, our family really does love a good bowl of mac & cheese now and then. I have been on a mission to find/create a dairy-free version of that classic cozy comfort food that also brings some veggie-goodness to the table.

And guys, I think I have nailed it!

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Butternut Squash Mac & "Cheese" {dairy-free, gluten free}

Creamy, slightly tangy and full of all sorts of good-for-you ingredients, this almost-as-good-as-the-real-deal Butternut Squash Mac & "Cheese" is surprisingly easy and fast to make. Loaded with protein from the cashew-based "cheese" sauce and fiber and potassium from the slightly sweet butternut squash, you'll be amazed at how much you enjoy this dish and will find yourself making it again and again.

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Butternut Squash Mac & "Cheese" {dairy-free, gluten free}
Creamy, slightly tangy and full of all sorts of good-for-you ingredients, this almost-as-good-as-the-real-deal Butternut Squash Mac & "Cheese" is surprisingly easy and fast to make. Loaded with protein from the cashew-based "cheese" sauce and fiber and potassium from the slightly sweet butternut squash, you'll be amazed at how much you enjoy this dish and will find yourself making it again and again.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup gluten free nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 3 tablespoons oil (coconut, avocado, or olive)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • to taste black pepper
  • 3/4 pound gluten free pasta
Instructions
In a medium saucepan, combine butternut squash, cashews and water. Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover and cook 10-15 minutes or until squash is for tender.While the butternut squash and cashews cook, cook the pasta according to directions. Once done cooking, strain, return to hot saucepan and set aside.After the butternut squash and cashews are done cooking, pour into a blender (with remaining cooking liquid). Add remaining ingredients to blender too. Blend on high until smooth and creamy.Taste and add extra salt and/or pepper if needed.Pour butternut squash "cheese" sauce over the cooked pasta. Stir gently to combine and coat all the noodles in the sauce. Enjoy warm and often.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 servings
Butternut Squash Mac & "Cheese" {dairy-free, gluten free}