I talk a lot about the unhealthy meals i loved growing up, as they truly are my inspiration to make healthier meals so delicious. I was a typical white pasta, chocolate, lemonade, cheese and onion crisps kind of girl, which continued right into my teens. I just had no idea there were alternatives, and it took a big reality check to figure out this diet is just not good for you, your life and your body. It was making me into a pretty horrible person, i was tired beyond belief, my energy was non-existent and i was pretty much constantly grumpy.. not a fun combination. It really goes to show the way you eat can really change every aspect of your life, and the peoples around you!
This recipe for Cheesy Pasta sounds like it’s anything but good for you, but it honestly is so full of goodness it’s crazy. The cheese sauce is made from butternut squash, cashews, nutritional yeast and lemon juice, with a few other ingredients to enhance the flavour. The butternut squash and cashews make the sauce really creamy whilst the nutritional yeast and lemon juice are what makes it ‘cheesy’. Nutritional yeast can be found in most health food shops, whole foods, or online at www.goodnessdirect.co.uk. It’s a kitchen essential of mine, and i love to use it on just about everything; sprinkled on salads, pasta, in dressings, sauces, soups or my favourite making nut ‘cheeses’! It’s full of B vitamins, which are often lacking in a plant based diet, so this is a great way to harness them with out taking lots of supplements.
The pasta I use is brown rice pasta, which is completely gluten & wheat free, made from 100% brown rice. It tastes identical to regular white pasta, but is amazing for you. You can also try buckwheat pasta or millet pasta. When it’s all ready and the cheesy sauce and pasta are mixed together, you have the creamiest pasta dish ever, its truly comfort food at it’s best…and healthiest.
1 large butternut squash
3/4 servings of brown rice pasta. (You can buy online at Ocado, Goodness Direct, or from your local health food shop)
1 red onion
1/4 cup cashews (soaked if possible)
3/4 cup water
1 garlic clove
4 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp lemon juice
S & P to taste
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees celcius. Peel and cube your squash, and chop your red onion. Place on a roasting tray, and roast for around 30 minutes, until soft. Add to your blender with all other ingredients and blend until smooth. Make your pasta as directed on the packet. When ready, drain and add the sauce, when its piping hot stir in some parsley and scatter with toasted pine nuts if you like!