Skinny Swap: Vegan, Gluten-Free Baked Mac N' Cheese

Mac n’ cheese is easily the most instagrammable dish on the internet. I was inspired by S’MAC, a little spot in the East Village that serves all things mac n’ cheese, for this skinny swap. This recipe is free from dairy, gluten and meat and uses just a few easy ingredients! Plus the butternut squash adds a nice Fall touch.

Serving size: 3

Ingredients

  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked in water

  • 2 cups butternut squash, boiled

  • 1 white onion, sauteéd

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 tbsp sea salt

  • 1 tbsp pepper

  • 1 tsp nutmeg

  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  • 1 box chickpea elbow pasta (quinoa pasta or any other gluten-free substitute works too!)

  • 2 lightly salted rice cakes

  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms

Method

  1. Put your cashews in a bowl with 2 cups of boiling water for about 2 hours (or as long as you can) until the cashews get pale and soft.

  2. Boil your butternut squash until soft.

  3. Boil your chickpea elbow pasta as directed on package.

  4. Put your mushroom slices on a baking sheet and in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes.

  5. Slice your white onion and put in a hot pan with 1 tbsp olive oil until soft and sauteéd.

  6. Drain the cashews and butternut squash. Combine them in a blender or food processor with the sauteéd onion. Add salt, pepper, nutmeg and garlic powder and blend until it forms a cheesy consistency.

  7. Drain your elbow macaroni and put in a brownie pan or skillet. Pour the cheesy mixture on top. Chop your crispy mushrooms and add them to serve as faux “bacon bits.”

  8. Crush the rice crackers up and sprinkle on top of the dish to serve as breadcrumbs. Pop back into the 400 degree oven for about 20 mins to bake and brown the top. Enjoy!

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