by Terry Walters
I've made mac and cheese for my kids more times than I can count. For years I had Annie’s Organics to thank, but now I go with this homemade variation and make my own “cheese.” I insist that we have to add something green, and peas and chard are always my girls’ top choice.
Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Peas and Swiss Chard
2 1⁄2 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash (about 1⁄2 small squash)
2⁄3 cup rice milk or water
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
3 tablespoons chickpea miso
1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
Generous pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
8 ounces gluten-free macaroni
1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
1 cup chopped green Swiss chard
1⁄2 cup gluten-free bread or rice crumbs
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more for oiling baking dish Paprika
Bring 1 inch of water to boil in medium pot with steamer rack. Add squash and steam until very soft.
Transfer squash to food processor. Add rice milk, nutritional yeast, miso, garlic powder, salt and nutmeg and process until combined and smooth. Turn processor off, scrape down sides and pulse one last time to combine all ingredients. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly oil an 8x8-inch baking dish.
Cook macaroni according to directions on package. When nearly done, add peas and chard to cooking water with macaroni and remove from heat. Drain and return to pot. Pour squash mixture into pot and fold to evenly coat pasta and vegetables. Transfer to baking dish and spread evenly.
In small bowl, combine breadcrumbs with olive oil and mix until moist. Spread over casserole, sprinkle with paprika and bake 30 minutes, or until breadcrumbs are lightly toasted. Remove from oven and serve.
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