Meatless Mondays

butternut alfredo

from http://www.theppk.com/2012/10/roasted-butternut-alfredo/

 

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!

 

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