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Dreamy Creamy Butternut Squash Mac n’ Cheese

Happy Monday everyone! I’m sure your all in the middle of holiday family fun and busy eating, cooking and eating and cooking! At least that’s the case for me! With lots of family events I’ve one busy bee! Amongst all the holiday chaos one delicious meal I whipped up this week was mac n’ cheese! It has a sophisticated twist with a creamy butternut squash puree, isn’t loaded with cream, is ‘mostly’ gluten free and it’s DELICIOUS!! Served with a delicious mixed green salad, this dish is a perfect meatless meal! Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

1 large butternut squash, peeled, halved, seeded, then quartered and cut into chunks
6 garlic cloves
2 thyme sprigs
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
2 cups vegetable stock
1 pound small elbow macaroni or mini shells ( I used 2 boxes of gluten free GOGO Quinoa Macaroni)
3/4 cup grated Gruyere (feel free to add more cheese)

HERBED BREADCRUMB TOPPING:

3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

To make the mac ‘n’ cheese:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a large saucepan, add the butternut squash, garlic cloves, thyme sprigs, milk, and stock. Cook until the butternut squash is fork-tender. Remove the sprigs of thyme.
Place the squash mixture in a food processor or blender and puree until velvety smooth.
Meanwhile, cook the macaroni in salted water until it is al dente (semifirm). Drain and rinse with cool water.
Spread out the macaroni in a lightly greased 13-inch x 9-inch pan. Pour the squash puree over the noodles.

 

To make the breadcrumbs and bake:
Combine all the ingredients for the herbed breadcrumb topping.

Cover the mac ‘n’ cheese with foil, place in the oven, and bake for approximately 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and evenly spread the breadcrumb topping and Gruyere over the top. Transfer to the broiler and broil for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the cheese is brown and bubbly.

From my Heart to Yours,
Merry Christmas!

Health & Abundance,
Samantha 🙂

 

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Super Food Quinoa Porridge and Curried Butternut Squash Soup to Start off Your Week!

Nothing beats starting your day with an incredibly nourishing bowl of goodness! Now I know most people like a “quick” breakfast in the morning before rushing out the door to work, but I can’t stress the importance of eating a nutritious and healthy breakfast to fuel your cells and energize your body! You can pre cook the quinoa in this recipe below the night before to get a head start in the morning and simply warm up the remaining ingredients in the am and nosh down this superfood porridge before heading off to work! Served with an antioxidant rich green tea, you’ll be super charged to start your day! Enjoy!

Superfood Quinoa Porridge

Ingredients:

1 cup cooked quinoa (use only ½ cup when serving this recipe and the rest for leftovers)
1/3 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
2 tbsp goji berries
2 tbsp cacao nibs
1 tsp sesame seeds
¼ cup chopped almonds
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp coconut butter
ground cinnamon

Directions:

Heat blueberries over medium heat in coconut oil and butter. Add remaining ingredients, top with cinnamon and stir. Serve over cooked quinoa.

 

 

 

Curried Butternut Squash Soup
Notice how I’m all about warming foods as the weather gets a little chilly? Well this soup will warm you to the core! Loaded with beta carotene, vitamin C, and antioxidants, this soup is perfect for the cold winter months.

Ingredients

1 large butternut squash, peeled and chopped into chunks
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tbsp curry powder (use less or more, depending on preference)
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tbsp coconut oil
vegetable broth and/or water
sea salt and pepper
walnuts, chopped, for garnish (optional)

Directions:
In a large pot, saute onion in coconut oil for a few minutes. Once onion has softened, add garlic, spices, salt and pepper and stir. Sauté for 1 minute. Add butternut squash and cover with vegetable broth or water. Add just enough liquid to cover the squash. Cook on medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes, or until squash is soft and cooked through. Transfer to a blender and puree soup. Transfer back to pot. Time to taste test! Feel free to add additional spices if necessary. I always tend to add more cinnamon at the end. Serve with chopped walnuts and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Happy Monday Everyone!
Hope your Monday is off to a healthy start!

Health & Abundance,
Samantha 🙂

 

 

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Curried Butternut Squash and Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins for Meatless Monday

I love curry! And although I’m not a master at making a true homemade curry blend, I opt for an organic curry powder that always does the trick; especially when I’m short on time! This delicious and aromatic dish takes no time to cook and is perfect served over leftover brown rice or quinoa for a quick weeknight meal! Aside from being delicious, curry contains a high dose of antioxidants, mainly from turmeric, the spice that lends curry its beautiful golden colour. Turmeric, which contains Curcumin-the most active constituent of turmeric, is a potent anti inflammatory, a powerful antioxidant, improves liver health and aids in digestion. I recommend sprinkling turmeric powder on your eggs, add it to your spice rubs, add it soups and stews and saute your veggies in it for an extra kick!

Curried Butternut Squash
Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds butternut squash
2 tbsp organic butter
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp minced or grated ginger
1 tbsp organic curry powder
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
1/4 cup chopped scallions for garnish
1 lime, quartered, for serving
salt and pepper

Directions
1. Cut both ends off squash and cut into 2 sections. Peel squash using a knife, being careful not to take off to much of the flesh. Scoop out seeds and stringy pulp with a spoon. Cut squash into 1 inch chunks.
2. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add garlic and ginger, stirring occasionally, until soft. Add the curry powder and stir until it becomes fragrant, just 1 minute or so.
3. Stir in squash, coconut milk, salt and pepper. Turn the heat to high, bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a gentle boil. Cover and cook, stirring once or twice until the sqaush is tender, about 15-20 minutes.
4. Garnish with cilantro, scallions and serve with lime wedges.

Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins
Ingredients

6 tbsp coconut oil, melted & cooled
1 cup packed organic light brown sugar
1/2 cup almond milk
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups Bob’s red mill gluten free all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 cups wild blueberries

Directions
1. Insert oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 400ºF. Insert liners in muffin cups.
2. Whisk together coconut oil, brown sugar, milk, and egg in a bowl until combined well. Whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Add milk mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in blueberries gently.
3. Divide batter among muffin cups and bake until golden brown, approximately 25 – 30 minutes.
4. Toothpick test: muffins are done when a toothpick inserted into the centre of muffin comes out clean

Enjoy the YUMMY goodness!
Happy Monday!

Health & Abundance,
Samantha 🙂

 

 

 

 

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BUTTERNUT SQUASH PESTO PIZZA FOR MEATLESS MONDAY!

Who doesn’t love pizza?! Pizza is definitely at the top of my indulgent list, but who says it needs to be indulgent? Pizza can be healthy! Especially when it’s loaded with beta carotene rich squash, antioxidant rich pesto and gluten free! I got this recipe from the September issue of Vegetarian Times. I decided to add pesto to it for an extra boost and boy was it good! It made for the best leftovers the following day too! Hope you enjoy this veggie loaded pizza and can do without the over abundant heaping amounts of cheese and pepperoni! Enjoy!

Butternut Squash Pesto Pizza

Ingredients

1 small butternut squash, peeled, halved, and sliced 1/8-inch thick
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced (1 1/2 cups)
2 Tbs. Eden Selected Spanish extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 Tbs. kale and oregano pesto, I used Sunflower Kitchen
1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 Gluten free pizza crusts, I used Udi’s.
1/2 cup fresh spinach leaves
1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

2. Toss together squash, onion, oil, and rosemary in bowl. Spread in large baking dish, and roast 30 minutes, or until tender.

3. Place pizza crusts on baking sheet. Top with pesto, spinach and squash mixture. Scatter parmesan cheese over pizza and bake 10-12 minutes, or until crust is crisp.

 

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