Cheesy, Gooey, Delicious Gluten Free Mac n’ Cheese for Meatless Monday

I love the food network! If you’re a foodie like me I’m sure you love it too! The other day I caught an episode of Eat St; a show dedicated to fun and hip food trucks preparing out of this world food, like Mac Genie. A food truck serving up unique mac n’ cheese dishes that everyone swoons to during their lunch hour in Indianapolis! So being the nutritionista that I am, I had to find a way to healthify the mac n cheese! I’ve managed to healthify this dish before, serving it up with creamy butternut squash, recipe here. But this time, I wanted a quick version. A stove top version! So here it is, a cheesy gooey mac n’cheese that is quick to prepare and will have your whole family asking for seconds!

Nutritionista Rant – dairy is not a part of my daily ‘diet’ and it is truly a cheat for me. I must admit, I love cheese. I grew up eating cheese! But now, I have a hard time digesting it and so I eat it sparingly. When I do opt for cheese, I choose a top quality organic local cheese. I’m not a fan of vegan cheeses, as I’ve had some really bad reactions to most brands and I would much rather eat the real deal. I always take a digestive enzyme before eating cheese or ‘heavier’ meals to help breakdown carbs, fats and proteins and aid in digestion.

ImageMac n’ Cheese

Ingredients:

1 package (227g) gluten free macaroni from GoGo Quinoa, cooked al dente
1 cup unsweetened non dairy milk (organic soy, coconut or almond will work)
1 cup organic gruyere, shredded
1 cup organic cheddar, shredded
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 Bay leaf
1/2 tsp smoked hot paprika
sea salt and pepper

Breadcrumb Topping

Ingredients:

1 cup gluten free breadcrumbs (or panko-not gluten free, or brown rice flakes pulsed in a food processor)
2 tbsp flat leaf parsley
3 garlic cloves
sea salt and pepper

Directions:

Add all breadcrumb toppings into a food processor. Pulse until combined. Set aside.

Cook pasta al dente (semifirm), approximately 10-12 mins. While pasta is cooking, heat milk on a stove top pan on low heat. Add in thyme and bay leaf, stirring frequently for 3-4 minutes. Add in additional spices, half the cheese and stir frequently until cheese is almost completely melted. Remove thyme and bay leaf. Once pasta is cooked, drain, rinse under cold water and pour into a baking dish (I used an 8×8 brownie pan as I did not have a small enough baking pan. It worked great! I oiled it up with olive oil to keep the pasta from sticking). Pour milk and cheese mixture over pasta. Top with remaining cheese and breadcrumbs and broil under low for approximately 5-6 minutes, or until browned and bubbly.

And there you have it! A simple, tasty and quick mac n’ cheese that is great served along side a mixed green salad.

Happy Meatless Monday!

Health & Abundance,
Samantha 🙂 xoxo

 

 

 

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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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Oatmeal Banana Vegan Cupcakes and Vegetable Curry for Meatless Monday

Greetings fellow Meatless Monday followers! I hope you’ve all had a joyous weekend and looking forward to starting a great week! I spent my saturday at the Vegetarian Food Fair in Toronto, and loaded up on an insane amount of vegan cupcakes (mmmm!). I’m still polishing them off as I write this post. So…it only made sense to include a vegan cupcake recipe. One that is super easy to make and is great for breakfast with a side of fruit, or smeared with delicious raw almond butter. I also indulged in tons of amazing indian curries at the veg food fair and that’s why I’ve decided to include a delicious vegetable curry that makes the perfect meal served with a side of basamati rice. This curry dish makes for delicious lunch time leftovers too! Enjoy!

Oatmeal Banana Vegan Cupcakes Ingredients

Ingredients

1/2 cup earth balance (soy free) — softened
1/2 cup organic unbleached sugar
2 cup ripe bananas — mashed
3/4 cup agave nectar
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt

Directions

In a mixing bowl, cream earth balance and organic unbleached sugar. Add bananas, agave nectar; mix well. Combine dry ingredients; stir into creamed mixture just until moistened.
Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes.
Cool in pan 10 minutes.

Vegetable Curry

1 eggplant, (about 1 lb/500 g)
2 large potatoes , (1 lb/500 g total)

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion , chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander
1 tbsp mild curry paste
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup vegetable stock
1 can (28 oz/796 ml) tomatoes
2 cups small cauliflower florets
1 cup frozen peas

Directions

Cut eggplant into 1/2-inch (1 cm) cubes. Scrub potatoes; cut into same-size cubes. Set vegetables aside. In shallow Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat; cook onion, half of the coriander, the curry paste and salt, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Add eggplant, potatoes and vegetable stock; cook, stirring often, for about 8 minutes or until vegetables are softened. Add tomatoes; bring to boil, scraping up brown bits from bottom of pan and breaking up tomatoes with back of spoon. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Add cauliflower; cook, covered, for about 7 minutes or until potatoes and cauliflower are tender. Add peas and remaining coriander; cook for 1 minute or until hot.

Have a Happy Meatless Monday!

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Meatfree Recipes!

Have you joined the movement yet? The Meatless Monday movement that is!? Well….Paul McCartney has joined the movement, Oprah has joined, Michael Pollan has joined…and now you can join too! Below is a full day of meat-free recipes for you to enjoy!

Breakfast Smoothie

1/2 cup water or non dairy milk (rice, coconut or almond)

1 scoop vegetarian protein powder (hemp, brown rice, or pea protein)

1 tbsp flaxseed oil

1 banana

1/2 cup fresh or frozen wild blueberries

Ice (optinal)

Blend all ingredients together

OR if you’re not the smoothie type…..

“Super” Toast

2 slices sprouted grain toast (ezekiel or stonemill house bread)

1 tbsp coconut oil

1-2 tbsp almond butter

1 banana

1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Slightly toast the sesame seeds on low heat on stove top. Toast bread, spread with both the coconut oil and almond butter. Slice banana and add on top of toast. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Snack

10-12 almonds with 1 apple

Lunch

Veggie Wrap

1 organic ezekiel tortilla

1 tbsp hummus (my favorite hummus- roasted garlic hummus from sunflower kitchen)

1 tbsp pesto (my favorite pesto- kale and oregano pesto from sunflower kitchen)

1/2 avocado, chopped

1/2 cup cucumber, chopped or sliced

1/4 red pepper, sliced

handful broccoli sprouts

Spread hummus on tortilla and add veggies. Roll’er up!

Snack

1 cup organic plain yogurt or Kefir

1 tbsp hemp seeds

1/2 cup fresh strawberries

Mixed all ingredients together

Dinner

Zucchini Goat Cheese Pizza (from Vegetarian Times)

1 prepared Eziekel spelt crust

1 tbsp olive oil

1 3.5 oz log goat cheese, thinly sliced or roughly chopped

1 zucchini, peeled into thin strips

1 small red bell pepper, cut into rings

Sauce

1 6-oz can no salt-added tomato paste

2 tbsp finely minced onion

2 gloves garlic, minced

2 tsp dried oregano

2 tsp olive oil

1/2 tsp red wine or red wine vinegar

Preheat oven to 400.

To make sauce- mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.

Spread sauce on pizza crust. Top with half the goat cheese. Spread zucchini strips over goat cheese, top with bell pepper rings, then add remaining goat cheese and drizzle with olive oil. Bake pizza for approx. 10-15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly, directly on rack.

For dessert, I’m making this a simple one- WINE!! It’s definitely a great vegetarian option! 😉

Hope you enjoy your Meatless Monday recipes! I will do my VERY BEST to post a new Meatless Monday recipe every week to keep you motivated and inspired!

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