There’s absolutely nothing wrong with indulging. Then again, this is also coming from the person who literally eats nut butter straight from the jar, daily. In any event, indulging in a little comfort food, dessert, or whatever your heart desires every now and again is A-okay. Although, is it still considered a guilty pleasure if it’s healthy? 🤔
Which leads me to this recipe…
There’s nothing more comforting (think a big bear hug) than mac and cheese. Maybe it’s because it brings me back to my childhood or maybe because what person with tastebuds doesn’t enjoy a big bow of pasta smothered in a cheesy sauce? The kicker, and no I don’t mean kick as in spicy, this recipe is, wait for it…HEALTHY. Yup, the sauce is packed with a vegetable and you’d never even know it! (Perfect way to sneak extra veggies into your kids.) I swapped out the extra cheese (extra fat, sodium, dairy) for roasted butternut squash. I know, I know, you’re probably like, “But that tastes nothing like cheese.” Well, you’re absolutely correct. However, with the right touch of ingredients like almond milk, cashew butter, nutritional yeast and spices you can achieve that same decadent taste and velvety texture.
It’s pretty amazing the things you can create with various kinds of foods if you’re willing to get a little bit creative. Healthy food doesn’t have to be boring or tasteless. Healthy food CAN be just as if not more delicious. Even your kids will start saying…pass those veggies! Okay, maybe not exactly that but here’s hoping! 😉
Baked Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese
Author: The Happy Hungry Yogi
Serves: about 6
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: about 30 minutes
- 2 tbsp butter (vegan butter works too)
- 2 tbsp almond meal + additional for top
- 1 c almond milk
- 2 c steamed butternut squash, puréed
- 2 tbsp cashew butter
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- 1 box gluten-free pasta (any variety will work)
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Steam the butternut squash until mash-able with a fork. (I cooked mine in my Béaba babycook but a pot with a little water works just as well.)
- In a separate pot of boiling water cook the pasta as directed. Drain and set aside when ready.
- In the meantime, in large skillet melt the butter over medium-low heat.
- Add the almond flour and whisk until incorporated. Stir frequently for about 3 minutes to prevent it from burning.
- Pour in the almond milk and whisk continuously just until simmering.
- Stir in the mashed squash, cashew butter, nutritional yeast, cinnamon, sea salt and pepper and let cook until it thickens, about 5 minutes.
- Fold the cooked pasta into the sauce until all the noodles are well coated.
- Sprinkle the top with additional almond meal and bake for 15 minutes.
- Let cool slightly before serving. Store any leftovers tightly sealed in the fridge for up to 3 days.