2.04.2013

Meatless Munch: Butternut Mac & Cheese

I keep seeing all these posts about Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese.
And I think it looks really good.
And I want to try it.

BUT- I'm super in love with Mama Pea's Vegan Mac 'n' Cheese


And all the recipes I see for Butternut Squash mac'n'cheese are pretty real cheese heavy.

So, what to do?

Well, when you have a craptastic day (or just an annoying Monday), and it's cold and you need some creamy, stick to your ribs, cheezy goodness?

You drink a delicious dark beer and proceed to make the best macaroni and cheese EVAR.


First, I boiled half a bag of penne pasta from Trader Joes and stuck a butternut squash in the oven. 


While the pasta was cooking and the squash was cooling, I assembled the remaining ingredients: non diary milk, silken tofu (I've used soft when I couldn't find silken, but I like silken best) and non dairy cheese. 


Once the butternut squash was baked at 350 degrees for 45 minutes (or until piercable with a fork), I cleaned it out, then scooped out the insides and joined it in the Ninja with the silken tofu, coconut milk, salt, pepper and dry mustard.  



The result is this creamy deliciousness. 





I added my butter (not vegan- still using up the overabundance of full fat stick butter from the holidays) to the pasta and then the butternut squash mix and the veggie shreds. 


Ta da.

The richest, creamiest, mac and cheese ever.

Surprisingly, I could not really taste the butternut squash. It just helped add to the richness.
Food experiment=success.


Then once my belly was full of creamy happiness...
I had my weight in Girl Scout cookies and called it a successful Monday. :)


Butternut Squash Mac 'n' Cheese
inspired by Nutrionella and Mama Pea

1 butternut squash, baked-cleaned and scooped (about 2 cups)
8 oz pasta of your choice, cooked
1/2 block silken tofu
2 tbsp non-dairy milk
1 package Veggie Shreds
1 tsp dry mustard
2 tbsp butter (I am addicted to Land'o'Lakes Sweet Cream unsalted butter...but there are definitely healthier versions out there)
salt and pepper to taste

1. Bake squash whole at 350 for 40-45 minutes or until soft.
2. While squash cools, bring a pot of water to boil for pasta. cook according to package directions. Drain and place back in pot.
3. In a food processor, mix together tofu, milk, dry mustard, salt, pepper and squash until full incorporate and creamy.
4. Add butter to pasta and stir until melted.
5. Stir squash mixture into pasta and add veggie shreds. Keep stirring until fully melted and creamy.
6. Dish up and enjoy.

I made this into 4 pretty serious 1 cup servings (this is stick to your ribs people), but if you want it to be a side dish or a lighter fare, make into 8 or 6 smaller servings.

What's your favorite comfort food?
How about Girl Scout Cookie?

I can do some damage on Thin Mints and Tag-a-longs...