Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mac and CheeZe

Following my tendency to think on the bright side, I normally look at Logan's allergies to egg and milk products as a blessing. They force us all to eat healthier, and they keep people from feeding him junk. I don't understand the compulsion people feel to feed babies like they're garbage disposals, but his allergies keep those people at bay. That said, home baked macaroni and cheese is still one of my favorite meals. It's quick, easy and oh so satisfying. If it wasn't for Logan's allergies, I'm afraid I would make guilty pleasure meals like that all too often, especially lately since the challenges of being a working mother are making themselves known! I do periodically get the crave for mac and cheese, but making that now means having to make a separate meal for Logan too. Kinda defeats the purpose of a quick and easy dinner.

In a stroke of luck, I came across a recipe promising a cheesy sauce, but without the cheese. Well the recipe wasn't perfect, but I was able to doctor it into a dish that Andrew likes even better than my original recipe that's full of dairy. I have to admit, it's pretty darn good considering it doesn't have cheese. And everyone knows how much I love cheese. It's pretty simple, too. Roasting the butternut squash (yes, the "cheeze" sauce contains butternut) is the only time consuming part, but the extra time spent on this dish is worth the healthier and more nutritious alternatives.

Kale chips
I usually top mac and cheese with breadcrumbs and Italian spices. I checked the label on the breadcrumbs I had in the cabinet and yup, whey. I'm glad I checked. I made kale chips and sprinkled a few crushed ones over the top instead. It was just as good! I rekindled my love of kale recently after having kale chips for the first time at a chickapalooza festival. They're a breeze to make. Just tear the washed leaves into bite sized pieces, toss on a baking sheet with a tablespoon of oil, some garlic and onion powder, and bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.

Mac and Cheeze
Serves about 6

  • 1/2 of a butternut squash, peeled and cubed.
  • 1 Tbsp. of oil
  • 1 lb. of whole wheat pasta
  • 3/4 cup of cashews
  • 1 3/4 cups of almond milk
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • 1 tsp. of salt
  • 1/2 cup of nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp. of ground mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. tumeric
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • Ground pepper to taste

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ยบ.
  2. Toss the butternut and oil on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 40 minutes, or until soft.
  3. Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
  4. Make the cheeze sauce by combining the rest of the ingredients in a blender and blend until combined.
  5. When the butternut is done roasting, add it to the blender and mix with the rest of the cheeze sauce.
  6. Combine the pasta and the cheeze sauce in a casserole dish, and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until warmed.
  7. Serve immediately.

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