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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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Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes with Almond Cashew Icing and (another) Pumpkin Pie Smoothie!

I know I know…..you’re probably sick of Pumpkin anything at this point since the overload at Thanksgiving weekend! But I can’t get enough of it! Pumpkins are everywhere, and soon I’ll be carving mine and roasting the seeds for a delicious snack. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy these simple and delicious pumpkin pie cupcakes that are gluten free! As for the icing, I have to admit it was a cheat on my part. I’ve been wanting to try the Healthy Top almond and cashew whipping cream and thought it would be the perfect addition to my cupcakes….and they were! Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

Ingredients
2 cups quinoa flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp cinnamon (I add extra cinnamon because I LOVE IT!)
2 eggs
1 cup organic pumpkin puree
3/4 cup sucanat
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
2 tbsp olive oil

Directions
Preheat oven to 375. Line a muffin tin with paper liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together quinoa flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pie spice and cinnamon. In a large bowl, beat the eggs; add the pumpkin, sugar, buttermilk, applesauce and oil. Whisk until smooth. Add the pumpkin mixture to the flour mixture and gently stir until blended. Use a large spoon to divide batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool in the pan. If frosting, be sure cupcakes have completely cooled so the icing doesn’t melt!

Healthy Top Icing
View the link below to see how to whip the Healthy Top! It takes no time at all! I added 1 tsp of vanilla extract before whipping to give it some extra flavour. http://www.mimiccreme.com/whipping.html

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
Last week I posted a GREEN pumpkin pie smoothie! The green hue was due to the protein powder that I use which contained spirulina and chlorella! Sooooo…..I felt the need to redo my smoothie and post a more “appropriate” looking Pumpkin Pie smoothie! 😉 Enjoy!

Ingredients
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup Organic canned pumpkin puree
2 scoops vanilla whey protein powder
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. manuka honey
3-4 ice cubes

Directions
Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Happy Meatless Monday!

Health & Abundance,
Samantha 🙂

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