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Roasted Butternut Squash Chipotle Mac and “Cheese” (V)

I am so excited to be sharing this recipe! I made something similar a few years ago for a potluck, but I was itching for a revamp. Let’s be clear, this is not going to taste exactly like mac and cheese. It looks a bit like mac and cheese, it’s just as comforting and hearty, but the flavor profile is quite different. The sauce is made out of roasted butternut squash, sweet onions and roasted garlic. I  I added a bit of nutritional yeast,  paprika and chipotle seasoning and blended this up into a creamy sauce. I also added a can of canellini beans for extra protein. I had friends over to try this and it was a huge hit! Everyone went back for seconds…and thirds! It was also pretty easy to make! Scroll down all the way to the end for a printable recipe.

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To Prepare:

  1. On a baking sheet, toss cubed butternut squash and roughly chopped sweet onion with olive oil, himalayan sea salt, chipotle seasoning and paprika
  2. On the same baking sheet, wrap 2 heads of garlic in foil. I cut off  the tops to expose some of the flesh. DSC_0015
  3. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until fork tender and caramelized. The garlic may need to stay in the oven for 10 additional minutes. DSC_0026
  4. Let this cool, and add the butternut squash, garlic and onion to a food processor. Add 1 cup of non-dairy milk, 1 tbsp nutritional yeast,  and puree, adding water or milk as necessary to get a smooth consistency. At this point, I taste the mixture to see if it needs more chipotle seasoning for spice or salt. DSC_0031
  5. In a pot, boil 1 package of pasta until al-dente. Reserve some of the cooking liquid to loosen the sauce later.
  6. Mix the sauce with the pasta and place in a baking dish. The pasta should be slightly runny, but be able to hold shape enough. Add pasta water or milk if the sauce is too thick. Add 1 can of canellini beans, rinsed.
  7. Cover with a layer of breadcrumbs and some pepitas, and return to the oven.
  8. Set the oven to the broil setting and broil the pasta until the top browns slightly. Remove, garnish with parsley and serve!

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Roasted Butternut Squash Mac and 'Cheese'

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash cubed, or about 20 oz packet of butternut squash
  • 1 large sweet onion
  • 2 heads of garlic
  • Pasta of choice (I used Rigatoni)
  • Non-dairy milk of choice (I used soy)
  • 1 can canellini beans, drained and rinsed.
  • Chipotle seasoning
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Paprika
  • Himalayan Sea salt (regular salt is fine if you don’t  have it, but it is delicious! )
  • Optional toppings: Breadcrumbs, pepitas and parsley

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. On a baking sheet, toss the cubed butternut squash and roughly chopped sweet onion with olive oil, himalayan sea salt, chipotle seasoning and paprika
  3. On the same baking sheet, wrap 2 heads of garlic in foil. I cut off  the tops to expose some of the flesh.
  4. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until fork tender and caramelized. The garlic may need to stay in the oven for 10 additional minutes.
  5. Let this cool, and add the butternut squash, garlic and onion to a food processor. Add 1 cup of non-dairy milk, 1 tbsp nutritional yeast,  and puree, adding water or milk as necessary to get a smooth consistency. At this point, I taste the mixture to see if it needs more chipotle seasoning for spice or salt.
  6. In a pot, boil 1 package of pasta until al-dente. Reserve some of the cooking liquid to loosen the sauce later.
  7. Mix the sauce with the pasta and place in a baking dish and 1 can of canellini beans. The pasta should be slightly runny, but be able to hold shape enough. Add pasta water or milk if the sauce is too thick.
  8. Cover with a layer of breadcrumbs and some pepitas, and return to the oven.
  9. Set the oven to the broil setting and broil the pasta until the top browns slightly. Remove, garnish with parsley and serve!

Makes 8 servings

 

 

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Pinto Bean Poblano Soup

During the week I look for meals that are quick, easy and fit the healthy category too! This pinto bean  poblano soup has always been a hit. It really takes very little effort and time and just a few simple ingredients. SO  good. I picked up a few poblano peppers from the farmers market  and had a can of pinto beans on hand, so I decided to blend them together in a nice, hearty soup. I topped it with some avocado pieces and baked crispy tortilla strips that I just sprayed with olive oil and popped into the oven until crisp. I made enough for leftovers, but my sister ate them all! I guess I’m just going to have to make it again! Here’s the recipe.

Note: Poblano peppers are on the mild side but depending on the pepper may be slightly spicy. If you’d like less heat, remove the veins and seeds, if you’d like more, add a jalapeno or some chili flakes. 

You will Need

  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 2 cans fire roasted tomatoes
  • 3 small poblano peppers or 2 medium sized ones
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • optional can of vegetable broth

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Directions:

  1. Roast  the poblano peppers in a 450° oven until they blister. Turn over once one side blackens a little bit and allow the other side to broil.
  2. Remove from the oven, and place poblano peppers in a bowl, covered with a lid to steam them.
  3. Remove the skins and seeds and chop.
  4. In a pot, heat some oil
  5. Add chopped garlic and onion and saute until transluscent
  6. Add 2 cans of fire roasted tomatoes and saute some more
  7. Add the poblano peppers, and pinto beans and salt liberally
  8. Add an optional can of vegetable broth or some water and allow this to simmer on medium for about 10 minutes.
  9. Remove from heat and blend
  10. Garnish with some tortilla strips, avocado, chives, cilantro, greek yogurt or whatever you would like!  My garnish was some pea shoots, avocado and home-made tortilla strips.
  11. Serve!

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Servings: 3-4

Cajun Roasted Rainbow Carrots

So I got these awesome multi-colored carrots at Trader Joes. It immediately gave me some kitchen inspiration. In the winter time I often love making cajun roasted sweet potato fries. Sometimes I add in some turnips or carrots. There are several different varieties of carrots, but the most popular is obviously orange. Apparently each type of carrot has different nutrient and antioxidant properties

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The carrots contain the following properties, according to this Time article:

  • Orange: Beta and alpha carotene pigment. This promotes vitamin A production by the body, which is essential for healthy eyes.
  • Purple: Anthocyanin, beta and alpha carotene pigment. Purple carrots typically have an orange core, and their pigment-related nutrients may provide additional vitamin A and prevent heart disease.
  • Red: Lycopene and beta-carotene pigment. Lycopene is the same red pigment that gives tomatoes their deep color and is linked to a lower risk of certain cancers, such as prostate cancer.
  • Yellow: Xanthophykks and lutein. Both are linked to cancer prevention and better eye health.
  • White: The nutrients don’t come from the pigment but from the fiber, which promotes healthy digestion.

Fascinating stuff! They each have a different taste too. I find the orange variety to be sweeter, ad the yellow and white varieties to be a little bit more starchy, like potatoes. For the recipe,  you just need 3 simple ingredients and an oven. I just tossed them with olive oil and some spicy cajun seasoning and roasted them up. They were a super delicious snack!

DSC_0022You Will Need:

  • A good bunch of rainbow carrots
  • Olive oil
  • Cajun seasoning (salt, garlic powder, paprika, black pepper, onion powder, cayenne pepper, oregano, thyme, and red pepper flakes)

 

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To Prepare:

  1. Preheat an oven to 400 or 425 degrees.
  2. Peel and cut the carrots into even 1 1/2 inch  sticks
  3. Lay them out on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil.
  4. Sprinkle with cajun seasoning (generously) and toss them up
  5. Bake for 20 minutes or until fork tender. The high heat helps the outsides to crisp up a bit. Try not to overcrowd the baking tray or the carrots will steam rather than roast and might become mushy.
  6. Enjoy as a healthy side dish or snack! DSC_0044DSC_0080

Prep time: 10 mins

Bake time: 20 mins

1 bag of carrots serves 4 as a side dish.

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