So for those of you that have noticed....it's been awhile since a recipe. Six months to be exact. And because of lots of friendly nudging and bugging I decided it was about time to get back into posting recipes. A lot has happened sine I last posted. Let's see...I missed the whole summer on the blog. I passed 1,000 likes on my Hope for Healing Facebook Page. (That's just crazy to me!!!) Then, oh yeah, I had a beautiful baby girl and she is just gorgeous and perfect in every way. An angel baby. Yes, a miracle in more ways than one, and has left me enjoying every second of her new born world. I had bit of a traumatic birth and have needed the time to recover and spend no time thinking about recipes and blogging and only about healing and figuring out life as a new mommy again. I won't get into details about my birth story, but I am grateful to be alive. And I'm not being dramatic.
And I am reminded of the birth of this blog as well...trying to spread a little more HOPE for the HEALING journey towards health and life after going gluten-free (or whatever health and healing journey you are on!) So I decided to pick up my pen and apron again... I may a bit slower to post with two little ones, and there may be less small talk and just recipes, but I'm pretty sure that's what keeps you coming back for more anyways ;)
We have been eating lots of simple meals and old favorites of late. Lots of my go-to meals and trying to get my 3 year old to eat anything fresh. We have been eating lots of fresh foods from our backyard and local farmer's market. There is no food better than the one's from your backyard. Fresh, ripe and perfectly delicious. And now here we are fully into the fall season with gorgeous squash and pumpkin to add to everything. Including a vegan mac and cheese to make it fall-licious!
Here is a simple fall favorite that I have been making at my house for a while now, but haven't posted for some weird reason. And as we have had it a few times already this fall, I thought it would be a good easy recipe to post after such a long leave of absence. And, my favorite comfort food for sure would be mac and cheese. No questions asked. It was my favorite food as a child. My quick answer to the 'favorite food' question and now as an adult it has only morphed into something creamier, more nutritious and with no actual cheese!
Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Recipe
(gluten, dairy and nut-free)
1 medium yellow sweet onion
3 finely minced cloves of garlic
2-3 TB of olive oil, ghee, or even leftover bacon grease to add extra flavor
2 TB of white rice flour (or tapioca or arrowroot flour work just as well)
2 cups of non-dairy milk (I like to use So Delicious coconut milk beverage here)
1 ts. of sea salt
1/2 ts. of fresh ground black pepper
1 ts. of ground paprika
1/2 ts. of ground tumeric
1 ts. of Italian seasoning blend or just ad a dash of dried rosemary, oregano and basil
1/3 cup of nutritional yeast
optional: 1- 1 1/2 cups of Daiya shreds 'cheddar flavor' cheese
2 cups of butternut squash puree
(make ahead of time by blending a medium baked butternut squash with a splash of water)
2-3 cups of fresh pure water
1 16 ounce package of elbow rice noodles. I only use Tinkyada brown rice elbow noodles here.
Fresh chopped parsley to serve.
In a large pot or dutch oven (10-12 quart), saute the chopped onion and garlic until translucent and soft. Then sprinkle in the flour and make a little bit of a rue substance, then add the milk and wisk fast to blend in the flour and milk with the onions and garlic. You should get a thickened cream-looking sauce. Then add the seasonings, nutritional yeast and dairy-free cheese. Let the sauce come to a boil and then add in the creamy butternut squash puree, water and dry pasta noodles. You are going to cook the noodles in the sauce. To do this, you need to turn the heat to medium and stir CONSTANTLY to make sure the noodles don't stick and to ensure a creamy mac and cheese. It should take 12-15 minutes until the noodles are cooked and you will notice they start to plump and add thickness to the sauce. It's a marriage of dry and wet and ends in a creamy goodness. I said to add 2-3 cups of water because depending on how thick your butternut squash puree is you may need a little more water or "wet" to get the noodles to soften properly. When the noodles have taken over the sauce. It is finished. Take off the heat completely and let sit for 10-15 minutes to soak together and cool off. Then ready to serve! Serve with a big sprinkle of fresh parsley or other favorite fresh herb blend.
You can also pour into a 9x13 pan, top with your favorite GF bread crumbs and olive oil, and then save or freeze to bake in the oven for a later date. Serve big boy slices after warmed in the oven for 30 minutes with a sprinkle of fresh parsley.
Happy Fall and Enjoy!