Butternut and Lentil Mac n’ Cheese

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My kids were excited to try this lentil pasta with a “cheesy” butternut squash-based sauce.  I think it was the bright orange color that made them think that maybe this was going to be like the boxed Mac and Cheese.  What I think is great  is that the recipe is actually dairy-free, gluten-free, incredibly high in fiber and protein and contains a heaping serving of vegetables.  I eat this all the time.

I like using a legume-based pasta for this recipe, since these are so high in protein and fiber.  And when you cook them and give them a bath in a delicious sauce, they have the taste and texture of regular pasta.  Maybe with a bit more tooth.  Okay, a whole wheat pasta.  But still, good!

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The sauce is composed of butternut squash, onion, nutritional yeast, some seasonings and coconut milk.  It sounds weird but all comes together in the most magical way.

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So creamy, so “cheesy” and delicious!  You can also fold in some cooked broccoli or baby peas for some green color and even more veggies!

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Butternut Lentil Mac n’ Cheese

1 lb legume pasta (lentil, chickpea etc…)

1 T. coconut oil

1/2 of a sweet onion, chopped

1 lb of butternut squash, chopped into chunks

1 c. water

3/4 c. coconut milk (canned, thick)

1/4 c. nutritional yeast

2 t. salt

1/2 t. chili powder

1 T. lemon juice

 

In a large pot, cook pasta according to directions on the package.  Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the coconut oil in a dutch oven or separate pot with lid.  Add the onions and saute 5 min.  Add the butternut and the water.  Simmer with the lid on for 20-30 min, until the veggies are tender.  Add the remaining ingredients.  Let cool a little and then transfer to a blender and puree until it comes together into a smooth, thick, creamy sauce.

Pour the warm sauce over the cooked pasta and serve.

 

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