Mac and Cheese! OMG!
My 12-year-old daughter, Chloe, LOVES mac and cheese and so I simply had to come up with a healthier version of her favorite meal. This just might be the most authentic-tasting healthy version of mac and cheese ever invented!
What makes it so healthy?
1. It’s dairy-free. Yes, hard to believe because it is incredibly creamy and flavorful, but yes, it’s dairy-free. We get away with this by using creamed cashews and nutritional yeast to mimic cheese sauce.
2. It’s made with Chickpea noodles. These things are awesome. Made with chickpea flour, these noodles have half of the carbs, twice the protein and triple the fiber of regular noodles! And best of all these have the flavor and consistency that is close enough to regular noodles that kids are cool with them. (unlike when I tried making her mac and cheese with zucchini noodles! lol!)
3. It contains fresh Butternut Squash. Talk about a nutritional boost! Tender, cubed butternut squash add fiber, vitamins and minerals to this dish and go virtually undetected by the kiddos. Chloe actually asked that I put in MORE butternut squash the next time we make it, as the sweet, tender cubes smothered in creamy “cheese” sauce were her favorite bites!
If you and your family love mac and cheese then give this healthy version a try and let me know what you think. Enjoy!
1 cup raw cashews
1 (8oz) box Banza Cavatappi (made from chickpeas)
2 cups Butternut Squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1½ cups almond milk (or other nondairy milk)
1½ teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Place the cashews a bowl and fill with hot water. Cover and set aside for 10 minutes.
Bring 8 cups of salted water to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and butternut squash cubes and stir immediately. Cook for 10 minutes, until the desired firmness has been reached in both the pasta and the butternut squash. Strain and rinse with water. Set aside.
Heat the coconut oil in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and sauté for 5 minutes, until soft. Add the coconut flour and sauté until golden.
Put the onion mixture, the drained cashews, and the remaining ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
Pour the sauce back into the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until warmed and thickened. Add the drained, cooked pasta and butternut squash to the pan, stir well and serve. Enjoy!