Forget the “Blue Box Blues”

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We all grew up on that amazing fake taste of Kraft mac and cheese but as you become an adult you realize how much better homemade is. There is a lot you can do and tons of variations to make amazing cheese sauces to top your favorite pasta. This is the first recipe we made from my new favorite cook book “The Plant Pure Nation Cookbook” by Kim Campbell. This recipe uses Butternut Squash and OMG I think this is my new favorite way to make mac and cheese. The recipe only uses half a squash so we made it twice last week and decided to do it two ways. The first we stayed true to the full recipe and made baked mac and cheese. The second time it was after a work day and I wanted to save some time so rather than baking it I just tossed the pasta in the cheese sauce and used shells which I like because they hold in extra sauce. Both were awesome and I encourage everyone to try this. You can pick your favorite way or do what we did and make it both. You can never have too much mac and cheese in a given week.

Macaroni and No Cheese

1 cup cooked and mashed butternut squash

1/4 cup raw cashews

1 1/2 cups nondairy milk

2 Tbsp cornstarch

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

3/4 tsp garlic powder

1/2 Tbsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

12 ounces macaroni noodles

1 cup peas

1/2 panko bread crumbs

Hints: using frozen butternut squash is a time saver however if you’re like us and prefer fresh then allow yourself time to bake (40 minutes)

If you do not have a high powered blender, presoak your cashews for a few hours or boil for 15-20 minutes to soften

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Place cooked squash, cashews, milk, cornstarch, nutritional yeast, mustard, garlic powder, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a high powered blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  3. Transfer to a saucepan over medium heat and whisk until thickened, if you prefer thinner add water.
  4. Cook the pasta according to package directions
  5. Combine the pasta, sauce, and peas in a casserole dish and sprinkle with bread crumbs.
  6. Bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly.

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If you are skipping the baking step, simply add your cooked pasta to the sauce in the saucepan and toss to coat.

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Enjoy!

-Chef Drew

Recipe brought to you by this amazing plant based book and documentary

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