I’m in love with the Autumn harvest, which of course includes my true love, PUMPKIN! Macaroni & Cheese, in my opinion, is the definition of comfort food. I use my cashew cream sauce to make a normally-rich and heavy entree into a light, delicious & comforting meal. How can I step-up my mac ‘n cheese? Add a little freshly-picked pumpkin, that’s how! I tested this dish on my parents while they were camping out here during the power outage caused by Frankenstorm Sandy. Before you ask, “Why would you test a recipe on family that’s taking refuge?!”, my parents enjoyed the dish so much, my dad went back for thirds. If you don’t have pumpkin, you may of course substitute with another fabulous winter squash (acorn, butternut, kabocha, your heart’s desire!).
Pumpkin Cashew Cream Sauce
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 3/4 Cup water
- 3/4 Cup nutritional yeast
- 2 teaspoons organic garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon organic onion powder
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons organic mustard
- 1 Cup pumpkin puree (I used 2 Cups as I’m pumpkin obsessed!)
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1 lb gluten-free pasta of your choice
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Deseed the pumpkin (don’t throw them away! Rinse the seeds off, soak in water overnight – add salt if you’re making savory seeds, sugar if sweet. Lay them out on a baking dish, spice as desired – cinnamon or chipotle powder for example – bake at 350 degrees until toasty!), lay face-down in a glass baking dish and fill with 1 inch of water. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until tender.
- While the pumpkin is baking, combine the rest of your ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Prepare your pasta per instructions.
- When your pumpkin is tender, carefully drain your baking dish & scoop the pumpkin from the skin and add to your blender with the cashew cream. Blend until the sauce is creamy. Mix the cream sauce with prepared pasta until fully incorporated. Adjust spices as necessary.
- I steamed farm-fresh spinach for my dinner’s leafy green. Mixing in your greens would be a delicious option as well! For my meal’s protein, I cubed 1 block of organic extra firm tofu; sauteed in 1 Tablespoon organic olive oil, 1 teaspoon organic dried sage, organic garlic & onion powders, salt & pepper all to taste. My parents had brought over a kuri and an acorn squash from the farm stand to taste as well. Talk about a complete meal!
- Enjoy eating whole!