Fall Style Mac ‘n Cheesy

Hope everyone enjoyed a Thanksgiving holiday filled with love and gratitude!

Thanksgiving

Ya know I promised a fabulous healthy recipe and today I’m here to deliver!  My own Fall Style Mac ‘n Cheesy.  Mmmmmm, comfort food.  Unique and healthy style!  This special recipe features a lineup of great fall ingredients and spices including organic pumpkin puree, nutmeg, turmeric, and even a helping of cayenne for a spicy kick!  Please adjust to suite your personal tastes, and leave me feedback about your experiments!

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The best part about this cheesy sauce is that it’s both easy AND delicious.  Serve over pasta, sweet potatoes, roasted zucchini, steamed veggies… the choice is yours!  Per the title “MAC ‘n Cheesy” you can assume I prefer a nice pasta, quinoa pasta to be exact, though this meal is even better with some oven roasted broccoli tossed in!  So good!  Leftover sauce will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to four days.  In addition it freezes like a dream so it’s easy to make meals ahead of time that you can feel really good about.  Just can’t beat that!  And now without further ado:

Recipe Label - Fall Mac 'n Cheesy(Vegan*/Gluten-Free*)
www.thesplendidsprout.com

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Sauce Ingredients:
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 small onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can (15oz) organic pumpkin puree
1½ C almond milk (click here for the homemade recipe)
¼ C nutritional yeast
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp white pepper
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp cayenne pepper (adjust according to your preference for spiciness, or substitute chili powder)
¼ tsp turmeric

*Optional Additions:  real cheese of choice, shredded  -and/or-  gluten free bread for toasted topping  [so far I’ve tried goat’s milk white cheddar, and also 1/2 gouda + 1/2 parmesan].  NOTE that your additions may affect my nutritional claims :-) *

Instructions:
Melt coconut oil over medium heat stovetop.  Add onion to warmed pot and cook until softened, approximately 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Next add your garlic and continue to cook for just another minute.

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Add pumpkin puree and almond milk, stirring to combine.  The pumpkin mixes in easily as it warms, but you can also feel free to use a blender or immersion blender here, especially if you don’t want any little chunks of minced onion or garlic in your finished sauce.

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(I didn’t blend ALL of my test batches for this recipe, and really don’t think it’s necessary.  I’d rather avoid any extra dishes as compared to a tiny minced onion!
What do you think?)

Bring mixture to a light simmer then whisk in nutritional yeast and remaining seasonings.  Taste and adjust to your personal preference.  This would be the time to add any shredded cheese, and also be sure you’ve got the remainder of your meal ready (piping hot noodles, veggies, etc.) ~

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(This picture was taken from a different, real cheesier, sample batch.
No, I don’t have magically transforming noodles!)

…And viola!

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Sweet hubby and I made a mean dent in a box of quinoa pasta during our last and final taste test for this Fall Style Mac ‘n Cheesy.  This will be a craving I’m glad to indulge in regularly!  I’m not a big fan of food coloring and preservatives, but I do love some home-style mac ‘n cheese every now and then.  I mean, who doesn’t?!

Remember, you can freeze leftover sauce for later use —> I love to freeze mine in ice cube trays, then dump the cubes into a labeled bag to keep sauce options accessible on busy nights.  Now go test this stuff out in your own kitchen and leave me feedback about your experiments.  Be creative and be healthy!  Enjoy!

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Notes:  Don’t forget that many canned goods contain a BPA resin in the lining!  Pumpkin puree, I’m talking about YOU!  I’ve mentioned it before but please research food brands that are BPA free, and check out this WordPress website for a quick list resource!

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I can’t wait to hear from you!

love, the splendid sprout

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