Butternut Squash Mac and Peas

Butternut Squash Mac and Peas

This is an easy recipe to make that is also kid-friendly and uses just 10 ingredients. This dairy-free version of the traditional mac and cheese is a great way to sneak in some veggies for your kids! But it is equally as delicious for adults too. The base of this sauce is made from butternut squash and carrots. Then I added some cashews to help give it its creamy texture and nutritional yeast to help give it a mild cheesy-like flavour.  Once you cook up the butternut squash and carrots, you toss everything into a blender and voila you have your sauce, plus extra for leftovers!

Butternut Squash Mac and Peas

When cooking your pasta, make sure that you cook it al dente because once you combine it with the sauce you don’t want it to over cook and become mushy, especially finicky gluten-free pasta. A tip for reheating leftovers, in a sauce pan add in some leftover sauce and a splash of dairy-free milk. Warm it in a pot and then add in your leftover pasta. It helps restore the creaminess and is so worth that extra step.

Butternut squash and carrots are a great source of beta-carotene (converts to vitamin A) and vitamin C which is an amazing antioxidant for the body.

Cashews are a great source of zinc which is critical for brain development and your immune system. It is also rich in magnesium to help keep your muscles and nerves calm. 

Nutritional yeast is kind of a superfood, it contains all 9 essential amino acids (protein) and is very high in a variety of B-vitamins (energy) and minerals like iron. 

This dish has a nice blend of nutrients that help support a healthy brain making it the perfect dish for kids and adults. If you use a quinoa or legume based gluten-free pasta you can even get more nutrients and protein into the mix. 

If you aren’t dairy-free or your kids insist on cheese, you could add a little bit of high-quality cheddar cheese to the sauce. This way they still get all of the beneficial vitamins and minerals from the veggies.

Enjoy!

Butternut Squash Mac and Peas

Butternut Squash Mac and Peas

Ingredients

  • 1 package of gluten-free macaroni
  • 2 cups of chopped butternut squash
  • 1 cup of peeled and chopped orange carrots
  • 2 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp of mustard (dijon or regular)
  • 1/2 cup of nutritional yeast
  • 3/4 cup of unsweetened plain dairy-free milk
  • 1/2 cup of soaked cashews
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup of frozen peas

Instructions

  1. Soak cashews overnight in water or for 30 minutes in boiling water. Drain and set aside.
  2. Boil 2 pots of water, one for the butternut squash and carrots and one for your macaroni.
  3. Salt the water and boil the butternut squash and carrots until fork tender.
  4. Cook your macaroni as per package directions, cook towards the al dente side. Strain and rinse with cold water and set aside.
  5. In a blender combine cashews and 1 cup of filtered water. Blend until smooth. Add the strained butternut squash, carrots, lemon juice, mustard, nutritional yeast, dairy-free milk, and garlic powder. Blend until smooth and add sea salt and pepper to taste. If it is too thick.
  6. In one of the same pots add the frozen peas, season with sea salt and cook for a couple of minutes. Then add half of the blender mixture. Bring to simmer, stir in the macaroni and serve immediately. Reserve the rest of the sauce for reheating the leftovers as needed. Tip, reheat the leftovers with extra sauce and a splash of dairy-free milk.
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