I don’t really like doing this, but my first recipe tonight is going to call for another recipe from a cookbook, which I’m not going to publish. However, I know a lot of you have Artisan Vegan Cheese (which I am loving), and if you don’t, you can just substitute some other cashew-based, creamy “cheese”. This dish was inspired by a couple of butternut squashes I got before the farmers market closed for the season…and the soft “gruyere” from Artisan Vegan Cheese I had to find a use for.
Butternut Squash Mac & Gruyere
10 oz pasta shaped appropriately for macaroni & cheese
1 small butternut squash
2 Tbsp oil
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup vegan broth
1/2 cup soft gruyere from Artisan Vegan Cheese, or some other creamy cashew-based “cheese”
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook the pasta to al dente, drain, and set aside.
Peel and chop the squash into bite-sized pieces. To peel the squash, chop off a little off both ends, stand it up bulbous side down, and carefully slice in half lengthwise. Remove and reserve the seeds. Use a sharp vegetable peeler to peel the squash. Slice it, then cut into cubes. Toss the pieces with a little olive oil and roast until soft, about half an hour. Remove from oven and set aside. TIP: put the seeds on a small pan, lightly salt them, and roast them as well for about 5-10 minutes, until lightly browned and crunchy. Let cool and eat them up, or reserve for garnishing the mac & gruyere.
Heat the oil in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat, then whisk in the flour, nutritional yeast, onion and garlic powders, salt, and nutmeg. Cook for a minute or two, then whisk in the broth. Continue whisking as it thickens, then stir in the “gruyere” or other cashew cheese. Stir until well-mixed and thick.
Combine the squash and pasta in a baking dish, then stir in the cheese mixture. Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes.
If desired, sprinkle with the roasted squash seeds. Alternatively, you could top the casserole with bread crumbs before baking. This was creamy and yummy and pairs well with greens and anything that’s smothered in barbecue sauce.
Quick Pickled Carrots
1 lb baby carrots (or regular carrots, peeled and cut into sticks)
1 cup cider vinegar
1 1/4 cups water
1/4 cup sugar
2 garlic cloves, lightly smashed
1 1/2 Tbsp coarse salt
1 1/2 tsp dill seeds
2 bay leaves
Bring a pot of water to boiling and blanch the carrots by cooking them for one minute, then draining and running cold water over them. Place all of the remaining ingredients into a sauce pot and bring them to a boil, then simmer for a couple of minutes. Place the carrots in a quart canning jar and pour the liquid over them. Let them cool to room temperature, then put a lid on them and refrigerate for at least 24 hours before eating. (If you don’t have a canning jar, cool the carrots in the liquid in the pot before transferring to another container.)
It’s hard to make these look very exciting, but they are fun and tasty. I’ll be having them on the side of most of my dinners for a while.
The weather in Northern Virginia was gorgeous this weekend, so today found me at one of my regular haunts, Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge. I think this is a mockingbird, but I’m a little unsure because his wings seem a little too rounded. Please correct me if I’m wrong!
Circumhorizon arc in the clouds:
Time to go home!