Mac n Cheese (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)
I've revamped this comfort food that typically gets a bad rep for being unhealthy and high in calories into a delicious, high fibre and protein rich dish (just so you know, I dislike calorie counting and strongly discourage it). All you're missing are some veggies (Broccoli, maybe?) on the side and you have a balanced meal.
You wouldn't believe me if I told you that the "cheese" sauce was made out of butternut squash and beans. The beans are what contribute to the dish being so high in fibre and protein rich. Keep in mind that beans must be paired with a whole grain in order to be considered a complete protein source. I mixed my "cheese" with quinoa macaroni (you can also try brown rice macaroni or amaranth macaroni).
The key player in this dish is by far the nutritional yeast. Fortified nutritional yeast is very high in vitamins B6 and B12 and is also a complete protein. Vitamin B6 plays an important role in the production of serotonin (regulates mood) and norepinephrine (fights stress) in your body. Let's not forget about the immune boosting trace minerals contained in nutritional yeast. It really brings a lot to the table!
Also, good news for those of you dealing with candida issues. Nutritional yeast does not in any way contribute to yeast. The reason is that nutritional yeast (different from brewer's yeast and baker's yeast) is been derived from a different species that has been deactivated.
Ok, enough learning. Go enjoy this recipe!
3 cups quinoa macaroni (or any whole grain macaroni of your choice)
1 1/2 cup roasted butternut squash
4 tablespoons almond milk (or coconut milk), unsweetened
1 can white beans (cannelini or navy) *BPA free can and salt free is a must
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup fortified nutritional yeast
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 1/2 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
1/4 teaspoon turmeric, ground
1/4 tsp black pepper
Parsley (garnish) *(optional)
1. To roast squash, cut lengthwise and remove seeds and flesh. Place face down on parchment paper. Roast in oven at 375°F for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Scoop out the baked squash and set aside required amount.
2. Bring a large pot of filtered water and some sea salt to a boil.
3. Combine all ingredients well *with the exception of the macaroni* in a food processor.
4. Next, transfer the "cheese" sauce to a sauce pan and bring to a low boil. Whisk sauce until smooth.
5. Cook pasta and once drained, add the cheese sauce and coat the pasta evenly.
6. Serve with parsley as garnish.
Can store in refrigerator in a sealed glass container for up to 3-4 days.