Wow, I must say I am pretty proud of myself for coming on here again today! I am a little excited about how far I made my one gigantic butternut squash stretch. Last night I made a “shell pasta” vegetarian lasagna. While it was baking, Brinley was playing, the twins were napping, Jord was running late from work... I looked over at that strangely shaped squash and thought... "I am going to just peel it, cut it and throw it in the fridge". I then realized I had boiled way too many shell pasta noodles that were sitting in the colander--just leftover. I was over at my friend Calli's that day and remembered how she was making butternut squash macaroni and cheese. While I didn't ask how she did it, I thought to myself, I am going to take a stab it. Now, I am going document below the recipe I came up with last night--from memory, so bear with me:
Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese
1 tbsp of melted vegan butter
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup almond milk
2 tbsp of ground flax
1/4 cup ground oat flour
1/4 tsp ground thyme
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground mustard
1/8 - 1/4 tsp of curry powder
pinch of cayenne pepper
salt to taste
Combine the above in a pot on low to medium heat and whisk until it is a smooth creamy sauce. Add more almond milk if necessary.
Once the sauce comes together, whisk in below ingredients:
1 - 1 1/2 cups mash cooked butternut squash (I boiled cubed pieces in a little water, drained it, and mashed it with a fork)
1 1/2 tbsp of nutritional yeast (this helps in giving it a Parmesan-y flavor while providing nutrients like vitamin B-12...etc)
In a deep round casserole dish, ladle a little of the sauce on the bottom, add cooked pasta shells (left over from my lasagna dish), add more sauce, continue the layers to the top. Take 3-4 slices of provolone (or Swiss) cheese and lay them on top to cover the shells… once cooled I put this in my fridge for tonight's dinner.
I preheated my oven to 350 degrees, took out the casserole from the fridge. I had leftover bread crumbs in my freezer from some homemade bread. I added garlic powder, salt, dried oregano, and pinches of the above mentioned spices (minus the mustard powder) to the breadcrumbs in a cup and poured on top of cheese with a drizzle of Olive Oil. I baked it for about 30 minutes covered with the glass lid. I then turned the oven off and took the lid off and let it sit in the oven for about 10 minutes or so to crisp up the crumbs. I served it with some homemade bread on the side with a little spread of organic vegan butter (Earth Balance).
Now my husband loves "Kraft" macaroni and cheese--gross, I know, but he loves it. Lately, it hasn't tasted the way he remembers it... so I was sooo happy to hear tonight that he liked my homemade version. He doesn't know what was in it... and that, really, the only cheese in this macaroni and cheese was on top of the casserole. Mu-ah-ah! :)
As a side note... I hate calling Macaroni and Cheese "mac and cheese" and I am sick of calling it "Kraft Dinner" as my Canadian husband calls it... so that is why I have taken the time to write it out: Macaroni and Cheese.
While my Macaroni and Cheese (with shell pasta) was baking. I decided to make some butternut squash soup. Now this too, was made up today:
Butternut Squash Curry Soup with Kale
1 tsp of Olive Oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp chili powder
1 to 2 pinches of cayenne pepper
1 tbsp of fresh sage, finely chopped (all I had)
Salt to taste
1 1/2 cups of chopped butternut squash
1 1/2 cups of water
1 cup of coconut milk
2 handfuls of fresh kale, chopped (all I had)
2 tbsp of fresh cilantro, finely chopped (all I had)
In small soup pot, saute the oil, onion, salt, spices, and sage until the onion is a little translucent. Throw in the chopped squash. Add a little bit of water and use a wooden spoon to scrape the caramelized bits from the bottom of the pot (helps in making great flavor). Then fully add the liquids, kale and cilantro. Bring all to a boil and simmer for about 30 minutes. I took a potato masher and mashed into the soup to help in making a creamier/chunkier texture--I didn't mash too much... just about 2 mashes and a swirl :). Then in my bowl of soup, I added a dollop of yogurt and some freshly grated Parmesan on top. YUMMY! I ate this while my family had the "Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese".
... And I still have about 3 cups of butternut squash leftover to use in the fridge.... I am thinking muffins? Maybe with blueberries and bananas... and of course, flax!