Friday, September 19, 2014

Mac n'....

Warning! Warning! This is not low fat or low calorie!  If you are a member of the vegan police you should probably stop reading now. The dish is full of creamy, fatty, glutinous goodness and I don't feel even the least bit guilty about making it or eating it.

With fall in the air it feels like time to start cooking with squash and pumpkin. It's time to gather the family around the dinner table for meals consisting of comfort foods and this fits bill perfectly for both if you ask me.

While would be an awesome side for a larger meal; good enough for even Thanksgiving dinner it also stands on its own well. Add a small salad and you are all set.

There are lots of vegan "Mac and Cheese" recipes out there. While this may look like Mac and Cheese this really isn't Mac and Cheese and its not even trying to be Mac and Cheese. It stands on its own quite well so I am going to simply call it "Mac n'"....

I made a very large batch of the sauce and used half of it for the dish and froze the other half for another time. If you want to create just enough sauce without having leftover sauce you may halve the recipe.  Alternatively, you could double the pasta and make two, freezing one for a rainy day.

Mac n'....

40 oz butternut squash chunks (I bought 2 20 oz packages cleaned and precut from Wegman's)
1 red bliss potato, peeled and cut into chunks
3 cans full fat coconut milk
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for a few hours
4 tbsp vegan butter 
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Salt and white pepper to taste
3 cups pasta, cooked al dente

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a large pot add the coconut milk and butternut squash and potato chunks. Season liberally with salt and white pepper.  Cover and simmer for about twenty minutes until very tender.

Transfer the mixture to high powered blender. Add the cashews and vegan butter and blend until very smooth. (Note: I had to do this in two batches).

Return the mixture to the pot and add the garlic and onion powder.  Re-season with salt and white pepper as needed.  Continue to simmer for about fifteen minutes, stirring occasionally.

Prepare a casserole dish by spraying it with cooking oil.  Add the cooked pasta to the dish and half the sauce mixture. Stir well and put into the oven at 350 degrees and bake for 30 minutes.

*If desired you may top the casserole with melted vegan butter and breadcrumb mixture before baking. I chose not to do this because my kids do not care for the breadcrumb topping.

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