My kids absolutely love Mac and Cheese, so every time we go out to eat it’s a battle. These days we hardly ever eat out, so thankfully it’s an issue that I don’t have to deal with very often.
From mommy’s point of view, traditional Mac and Cheese is filled with dairy and gluten and simple carbs that aren’t providing very much nutritionally for a growing body. From kiddo’s point of view, Mac and Cheese tastes AWESOME.
This recipe is a fun compromise. It has a creamy, cheesy taste that the kids love, and it’s filled with truly nutritious ingredients, which makes me happy. There’s zero gluten and zero dairy, not to mention zero artificial colors and flavors.
Sure, the noodles don’t come in cool shapes, but if you had enough time and patience you could get creative with your squash noodle creation!
Try this recipe out with your little ones–it just may become a new family favorite. And you’ll enjoy a break from the what’s-for-dinner-battle.
Here’s what you need:
- 12 oz (about 2 cups) raw cashews, soaked for 1-2 hours
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons water (plus more if needed)
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup nutritional yeast
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 clove garlic
- Dash of pepper
- 6-8 yellow squash (the ones shaped like zucchini)
- ½ cup finely chopped pecans (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a casserole pan with olive oil.
- Discard the cashew soaking water. Combine all of the cheese sauce ingredients into a high speed blender. Mix until completely smooth. If the mixture is too thick add an extra tablespoon or two of water.
- Wash the squash, then slice the long way into fourths. Cut out the seeds.
- To make the noodles you could use a mandoline slicer or a spiral slicer. If you don’t have any of those, or just don’t want to fish them out from the back of your cupboard, then a simple vegetable peeler works perfectly fine. Hold one of the squash pieces in the middle and peel along the edge of the piece. Once you’ve peeled as far as you can, turn the piece over and peel the other side. Do this with all of the squash pieces, putting the squash noodles into a large colander. Sprinkle with a touch of salt and allow to sit for 15 minutes.
- In a large bowl combine the squash noodles with the cheese sauce. Spread into the prepared pan and sprinkle with the chopped pecans if desired.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until the pecans are golden and the noodles are warmed.