October 8, 2012

Pumpkin Mac & Cheese

Although I took a momentary flashback to summer the other day with the Macaroni Salad, I am whole-heartedly into fall.


So for the next couple of weeks, during my favorite month of the year, I will share with you some awesome, whole-foods, plant-based pumpkin recipes.   Hooray!  First, let's chat about this wonderful fall classic - the pumpkin.


Low in fat and calories, but high in antioxidants, vitamins (including a ton of vitamin A), minerals, beta-carotene, fiber, carotenoids....this vegetable (well, technically a fruit) is not only delicious, it's incredibly nutritious!!  

Also, fun to carve.

So to kick off the next couple of weeks of recipes dedicated to the pumpkin, I wanted to do something different.  

Fun.  

Unexpected.  

I wanted to take a classic recipe and vegan-ize-it, whole-foods-it, and pumpkin-ize-it.  I love the idea of pasta dishes in the fall....super cozy and warm.  So say hello to Pumpkin Mac & Cheese!





Creamy and delicious, you would never know this "cheese" sauce was healthy.  Not only healthy, incredibly low-fat and packed full of nutrition!  

I've always been a big fan of add-ins to my mac & cheese for added texture.  I used kale here (obvi), but you could throw in broccoli, peas, spinach....or you could keep it super traditional (well, as traditional as you can get with vegan mac & cheese), and not add any veggies in, top with breadcrumbs and bake.  

Whatever you decide, know this:  this recipe is freaking awesome and hard to screw up.  It's omni-approved, picky kid approved, and delicious.  Although you get wonderful little hints of pumpkin in every cheesy bite, this sauce is certainly not sweet - it's savory.

And perfect.

And guess what?  I had leftovers of the sauce.  Any guesses as to what I made with the leftover sauce!?!?!?  

I'll post the Day 2 recipe this week, so stay tuned!

Love & Kale,
Ali

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Pumpkin Mac & Cheese
Serves: 4
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 lb whole grain pasta
  • 1/2 bunch kale, chopped (or add-in of your choice)
  • 1 1/4 cup unsweetened, unflavored almond milk
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • Salt & pepper to taste 

Instructions:
  1. Make your pasta according to package ingredients.  Add kale last few minutes of cook time.  
  2. Meanwhile, make your pumpkin cheese sauce.  Combine almond milk, nutritional yeast, mustard, arrowroot, garlic and onion powder, salt and pepper, in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.  Whisk everything together until combined and gently cook about 5-7 minutes, until thickened. 
  3. Whisk in pumpkin until combined and cook another 2 minutes.
  4. When pasta and kale are cooked and drained, combine with sauce.  Serve and ENJOY!
Ingredients

Cook pasta and kale
Add all sauce ingredients except pumpkin.  Cook until thickened a little.
Add your pumpkin and whisk.
Whisk away until combined
Mmmm thick and cheesy!!
Combine pasta, kale and sauce
Eat it, love it, thank me.

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