Beauty Food - Paired, Vegan and Gluten - Free Mac 'N Cheese
Recipe type: Entree
Mac and cheese is among the leading carb cravings that people tell me they have. It’s not just the carbs they crave; it’s also all the fatty dairy. So many vegan dishes get their creamy, cheesy quality from cashews, but I wanted to avoid those here. Nuts are a pro- tein, and combining them with pasta, even when it is gluten free, results in a dense protein-starch combination that should be avoided for easier digestion. In this recipe, the fatty richness is derived from a blend of butternut squash and coconut milk. This recipe is a variation of the one that caterer Hope Bailey and I created together as an appetizer and served in elegant little espresso cups at an event we hosted. I hope you, too, enjoy this properly combined, much healthier version of mac and cheese!
  • 2 cups cubed butternut squash (1⁄2-inch cubes)
  • 1 cup diced white onion
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, plus 1 tablespoon for the bread crumbs
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon sea1 salt, plus 1⁄2 teaspoon for the sauce, plus ⁄2 teaspoon for the bread crumbs
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus 1⁄4 teaspoon for the sauce, plus 1⁄4 teaspoon for the bread crumbs
  • 2 cups full-fat, unsweetened coconut milk 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, plus 2 tablespoons for the bread crumbs
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Few drops Tabasco sauce or other similar hot sauce (optional)
  • 3⁄4 cup gluten-free bread crumbs (made from about 3 pieces of toasted gluten-free bread, which are cooled, then pulsed in a food processor)
  • 11⁄2 teaspoons paprika
  • 8 ounces gluten-free pasta elbows or shells, cooked according to the package directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Toss the butternut squash cubes, onions and garlic with 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil, 1⁄2 teaspoon of the salt and 1⁄4 teaspoon of the pepper in a large bowl. Spread the squash mixture on a baking sheet and roast in the oven until the squash cubes are soft and golden brown, around 40 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the coconut milk, thyme and bay leaves in a medium saucepan, and bring the coconut milk to a rolling boil over medium heat. Turn off the heat and let the coconut milk steep for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs with a slotted spoon.
  4. Combine the cooked coconut milk, the squash mixture , 1⁄2 teaspoon of the salt, the remaining 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper, 2 tablespoons of the yeast, the dry mustard, turmeric, and Tabasco sauce in a blender and process until smooth. Set the butternut squash sauce aside.
  5. Toss the bread crumbs with the remaining 1 tablespoon coconut oil, the remaining tablespoons nutritional yeast, the remaining 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, the remaining 1⁄4 tea- spoon pepper and the paprika. Set the bread crumb mixture aside.
  6. Arrange the cooked pasta in a large bowl. Pour the reserved butternut squash sauce over the pasta and combine well. Spoon the pasta into a 9 x 13 casserole dish. Sprinkle the reserved bread crumb mixture over the pasta and bake for 20 minutes, or until top is golden. Spoon out, serve at once and enjoy each bite!
Recipe by Solluna by Kimberly Snyder at