What’s for dinner tonight? Now that temperatures in LA have dropped just a bit (I know this empirically because my coconut oil is not liquid anymore), I am getting back to incorporating more warm, comforting seasonal foods. There are many plant-based versions of mac and cheese, but this recipe, is by far my favorite variation. It was developed by one of the queens of vegan cooking: Isa Chandra Moskowitz. If you don’t know of her or her many books (you can’t go wrong with Veganomicon), you are in for a total treat 🙂
This recipe is so good, and I can almost promise you that anyone you serve it to, omnivore or plant-based eater alike – will love it. If you want to make it extra kid friendly, stick to the cashew/broth/butternut/miso/nutritional yeast combo and don’t bother with the onion/garlic/sage/white wine mixture. But that mixture adds a phenomenal depth that I’d highly recommend, if you’re not serving it to kids who might be sensitive to the onion, sage and white wine.
When I make this with pasta, I use a gluten free version (like brown rice) and I add some kind of greens to the mix – like sauteed kale or roasted broccoli. I make this separately and then add it in at the end when everything gets mixed up.
Last night, I made the sauce and served it over quinoa, roasted broccoli and a few leftover chickpeas. Yum! My biggest tip on this recipe – the roasted butternut squash is key. I don’t recommend using canned squash or pumpkin. Cutting up a butternut squash is a total pain, I know, and it gives a lot of us butternut hands, so my recommended shortcut is to buy frozen or fresh pre-cut squash and then just roast in the oven. My other recommendation on the squash front if you are using frozen 10 ounce bags – buy 2. Roast both. Use one for the sauce and the other for toppings. You can also use any kind of miso – chickpea, brown rice or soybean. Enjoy!