Mac n' 'Cheese'

Mac n' 'Cheese'

If you haven't heard about this recipe by now, pay close attention. First, let's establish that this Mac n' 'Cheese' is gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan. I know. There is so much contradiction in that sentence but stay with me.

This recipe uses a devious blend of oven-roasted butternut squash, onions and garlic. The cashews and nutritional yeast further add to the creamy, cheesy profile. The result? An incredibly similar texture and flavour compared to its high-fat, high-calorie counterpart which has reportedly passed both the "kid test" and "skeptic-spouse test".

So, obviously legit.

Vegan, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free Mac n Cheese

That Clean Life members also recommend freezing the 'cheese' sauce and using it in other recipes, like on top of the Winter Buddha Bowl or as a veggie dip. I've also loved sharing this recipe at potlucks with great success (and almost always, utter shock). Simply keep the sauce, macaroni and crust separate until it's time to reheat and serve.

What are you waiting for? Enjoy this healthy twist on one of your favourite comfort foods.

Vegan, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free Mac n Cheese

Vegan, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free Mac n Cheese

Mac n' 'Cheese'

Servings: 4
Time: 60 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 Butternut Squash (peeled, seeded and sliced into 1 inch cubes)
  • 1/2 Sweet Onion (diced)
  • 2 Garlic (cloves, whole)
  • 2 tbsps Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 cup Almonds
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 cup Cashews
  • 2 tbsps Nutritional Yeast
  • 2 tsps Sea Salt
  • 4 servings Brown Rice Macaroni

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 420.
  2. Place butternut squash, sweet onion and garlic cloves in a large mixing bowl. Add olive oil, season with a bit of sea salt and pepper and mix well. Transfer onto a large foil-lined baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes.
  3. Now let’s make the "breadcrumbs". In a food processor, combine the almonds, garlic powder and onion powder. Pulse until almonds are coarsely chopped. Set aside.
  4. In a blender, add cashews, nutritional yeast and sea salt. Add 1 cup water and blend until a creamy consistency forms. Now add in the roasted butternut squash and onion mix and blend until smooth.
  5. Reduce oven to 350.
  6. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook brown rice macaroni as per the directions on the package. When finished cooking, strain and run under cold water immediately to prevent from overcooking.
  7. In a large bowl, mix together cooked macaroni and ‘cheese’ sauce. Toss until well coated then transfer into a casserole dish. Top with almond bread crumbs and bake in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven. Let cool for 10 minutes. Spoon into bowls. Devour.

Modifications:

More protein - add diced chicken

Make it spicy - add a clean hot sauce like Tobasco

More vegetables - add sauteed spinach, mushrooms or cherry tomatoes

Appetizer size - line a muffin tray with liners and fill each with a few spoonfuls of Mac n' 'Cheese' for a more bite-sized snack

Individual servings - bake in ramekins

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