Roasting – the very word evokes feelings of warm bellies and snuggles by the fireplace. It’s also an easy way to bring out loads of flavor from simple ingredients. We got our first real taste of winter last weekend, and although the snow disappeared quickly with some chilly rainfall followed by unseasonable highs, ’tis the season for comfort food!
How to roast:
- Preheat oven to 400 F
- Wash vegetables (try squash, potatoes, brussels sprouts, onions, sweet potatoes, eggplant, mushrooms, garlic and beets)
- Slice garlic and onions if using, cut other vegetables into cubes of approximately the same size
- Toss with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs of your choice
- Place in oven safe dish or on cookie sheet, and roast until cooked through (30-60 minutes)
Squash is one of our favorite foods, particularly in the winter. Don’t let its tough exterior fool you, it’s super simple to prepare:
You can easily season with salt, pepper and margarine at this point, or go the sweet route with brown sugar and margarine. (Or feed it to your bearded dragon who would happily stick his face into that container and eat until he explodes!) Today, I plan to take it a step further with Mac and Cheeze inspired by Oh She Glows.
This delicious guilt-free non-dairy mac and cheeze recipe was adapted from the brilliant Andrea Liddon at Oh She Glows. Adding extra liquid allows this to be made ahead and heated up for company!
- 2 cups + 1/2 cup roasted butternut squash (or canned squash/pumpkin)
- 2 Tbsp margarine
- 2 1/2 cups dairy or non-dairy milk
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 3/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 4 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- 16 oz (8 servings) whole grain macaroni
- Optional: 1 tsp margarine and 1 cup breadcrumbs
- In a medium sauce pot, melt margarine over medium heat. Whisk together milk and cornstarch in a bowl until no clumps remain, then add to pot and whisk.
- Stir in nutritional yeast, mustard, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir over low heat until thickened (5-7 minutes).
- Add 2 cups squash to pot and stir until well mixed and heated through. Pour into blender or use immersion blender and process until smooth and creamy. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup squash.
- Cook pasta according to package directions, then stir into sauce.
- Pour mixture into 8x13 inch casserole dish.
- OPTIONAL: Melt 1 tsp margarine and pour into 1 cup breadcrumbs. mix, then sprinkle over mac and cheeze casserole
- At this point you can refrigerate or freeze the casserole! When ready to eat, simply cover with foil and bake in 375 F oven until warm (30-40 minutes unless frozen).
Although Doug and I are cheese lovers, we both crave this recipe often. Thankfully it’s considerably healthier than “real” mac and cheese, so I don’t feel guilty about making a big batch to eat for lunch all week! I also love anything that I can make ahead, as I do a lot of our meal prep on weekends. If you plan to eat this right away, decrease the milk by 1/2 cup.
FYI: Nutritional yeast is delicious, nutrient-rich, and vital to this recipe. You can find it at most bulk and health food stores, but beware of people who try to sell you brewer’s yeast, which is not the same and is much less delicious! Try it on popcorn with a touch of salt and olive oil – you’re in for a treat!