Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese--Vegan Style!

                 **Meat-Eating Husband approved, Vegan Approved**

Sooo, since I went Vegan, I've been on a SEARCH for new recipes that are healthy, fulfilling & enjoyable for both me and my meat eating husband! I believe that it's so important to EAT healthy. You can do all of the crunches you want to get a six pack, but if you are eating fast food and other horrible meals, you'll never see it. More than anything, when you EAT, you aren't supposed to be heavy, tired & drained. When you eat, you are supposed to have more energy and the food is supposed to be used as fuel. As a wife, I believe that is my responsiblity to feed my husband and one day family healthy food that will fuel them to FULFILL the will of God for their life. Eating healthy can improve your memory, you'll have better moods, be more aware, feel better, and you'll have more energy.
So you can take all of that & serve people better, love harder and be an EXAMPLE to them. Having a rough time getting up in the morning to pray? We all do. The food you eat the night before will determine your mood that next day. So if you are constantly "feeling" sluggish, you won't want to get up in pray or do anything you complain about traffic on your way to work. Of course you can do your confessions, stay "positive" while you eat your Big Mac but I'm pretty sure that as you bow your head to bless that burger, the Holy Spirit will gently remind you that He wants you to eat something better :) Not to beat you down, but to get you to go higher.

 Ok, so, I always try recipes & make them my own. So enjoy.

 The first thing you do is peel and chop half of a Butternut Squash. Place it into a bowl and add a teaspoon of coconut oil & celtic salt!

Roast in the oven for 40 minutes at 400F, flipping once half way through baking. You can do this ahead of time if preferred.

While the squash is roasting, make your pretend ‘cheese sauce’ in the food processor. I actually have used cashews, lime juice, honey and unrefinded cococnut oil  to make key lime bars, so it's pretty cool to take it in another direction and make cheese with chashews!
Now, add the roasted squash into the cheese sauce and process until smooth. It makes about 3.5 cups of sauce.
Cook your desired pasta. I used a full bag (~450 grams or 4.5 cups dry pasta) of Glutton Free Brown Rice Penne for the casserole option.
Drain the pasta and add in the cheese sauce. Depending on how much sauce you want, you might not use it all. I also added some broccoli and you can get creative with any kinds of mix-ins you want.  You can also add a bit of non-dairy milk if the sauce thickens up too much.
At this point you can enjoy your pasta a couple ways:
1) Heat the mixture in the pot and serve immediately.
2) Pour the mixture into a casserole dish, top with breadcrumbs, and bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes.
If baking in the oven, add on your breadcrumbs.
After, 20-25 minutes you have a fun B’nut Squash Mac ‘n Cheese that will serve 3-4 people for a main course.
                                          Buttery squashy deliciousness!

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese! (with your own special cheese!)

  • 1/2 butternut squash, peeled and chopped (yields: 3.5 cups raw)
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened almond milk), or more to thin out
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp celtic salt, or to taste
  • 6-7 tbsp Nutritional yeast (provides the cheesy consistency) **get this from a all natural organic store, not krogers.
  • 1/2 tsp honey dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp or a bit more of dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp Tumeric powder, optional (gives the orangey colour)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp Paprika + more to season
  • Your pasta of choice (I used ~450 grams/4.5 cups dry penne for the casserole) + mix-ins *I try to stay away from alot of brown rices, I try to go glutton free whenever I can*
1. Preheat oven to 400F and line a baking sheet. In a bowl, season chopped squash with some coconut oil (~1 tsp) and celtic salt (couple pinches) and stir. Add to baking sheet and roast in oven for 40 minutes, flipping once half way through baking.
2. If making the baked casserole: Process 1 slice of millet bread + 1 tbsp Earth balance until crumbs form in a food processor. Set aside. If you plan on enjoying it straight from the pot you can skip this step.
3. Assemble your cheese sauce ingredients (cashews, non-dairy milk, garlic, lemon, salt, nutritional yeast, pepper, mustard, seasonings) and add just the cashews to food processor. Process until a fine crumb forms similar to corn meal. Now add in the rest of the cheese sauce ingredients and process until smooth. Leave the sauce in the processor as you will be adding the squash.
4. Cook your pasta according to package directions. When squash is finished roasting, add it to the food processor and blend it with the cheese sauce until smooth. Adjust to taste. The sauce will thicken up with time. If at any point the sauce becomes too thick, you can add a bit of milk to thin it out.
5. Drain and rinse pasta with cold water. Now add the pasta back into the same pot and add your desired amount of cheese sauce on top. Stir well. Add in any desired mix-ins like peas or broccoli. You can either heat this up in the pot, or pour it into a casserole dish (I used a 4 cup dish), sprinkle on breadcrumbs + paprika, and bake it at 350 for about 20-25 minutes. The casserole will serve about 4 people if you use 450 grams dry macaroni or penne. Store any leftover sauce in the fridge and use within a few days.




  1. Please post the key lime bar recipe. I am always looking for new recipes and am trying to cook more healthy. Thanks!!!

  2. Heather, how long have you been vegan? And what made you decide to turn vegan. Thanks.God bless you :)

    1. Hey! I realized that meat was SLOWING me down & making me tired! I did the raw food diet for awhile and after that-- I couldn't go back to eating meats!

  3. Looks yummy! Mind telling what camera you used in these pictures?

  4. Have you ever considered creating an ebook or guest authoring on other sites?
    I have a blog based on the same topics you discuss and would really like to have you share
    some stories/information. I know my subscribers would value your
    work. If you're even remotely interested, feel free to send me an email.
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  5. I think I may try this, especially with Thanksgiving a couple days away.


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