Butternut Squash Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Image

Modified from Shape.com
Serves 6.

Calories   Carbs   Fat   Protein   Sodium   Sugar
409          78        3      13           392         10

Ingredients:

  • 2 bags frozen butternut squash
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 pound small elbow macaroni or mini shells
  • 2 tablespoons Daiya Cheddar
  • 3/4 cup panko
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large saucepan, add butternut squash, garlic, thyme, almond milk, and stock. Cook until squash is fork-tender. Remove thyme sprig. Place mixture in a food processor or blender, and puree until velvety smooth.
2. Meanwhile, cook macaroni until al dente (semifirm). Drain and rinse with cool water. Spread out macaroni on a lightly greased 13-by-9-inch pan. Pour squash puree over noodles. Cover with foil, place in oven, and bake for approximately 45 minutes. While casserole bakes, combine all ingredients for breadcrumb topping.
3. Remove pan from oven and evenly spread breadcrumb topping and Gruyere over top. Transfer to broiler and broil for 5 to 10 minutes until cheese is brown and bubbly.

Homemade Cheez-Its

This post is dedicated to my dear friend @Harmonyjoyyy. A friend in real life and in the twitterverse, she is one of those people I love following because she gets you through the “each minute feels like an hour” days. One of the things I’ve come to know about @Harmonyjoyyy is the girl. loves. cheez-its. =) Since giving up all snacks involving cheese, I had kinda forgot about them until I watched her pledge her allegiance and undying love. Maybe I was missing something here.

As I do each time I feel my allergy is making me miss out on awesomeness, I started googling homemade recipes until I found one with a decent picture. Success!

These crackers were everything I thought I was missing and more. They were salty and cheesy with just the right amount of crunch. Since this past weekend was @Harmonyjoyyy’s birthday and she was the inspiration, I made her some too! (with real cheese and butter =) H and L got a stash for being my taste testers, and all the crackers were gone within a day. Talk about addicting.
Yields about 7 dozen crackers.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. bag Dayia Cheddar Style Shreds
  • 3 TB Earth Balance Buttery Sticks, softened
  • 1 TB shortening, softened
  • 1/4 tsp celtic sea salt, plus some for sprinkling ( I cut the salt in half from the original recipe because Earth Balance is salted… I think)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 TB cold water

The first thing I noticed about the recipe was that it called for grated cheese. I’ve yet to find Dayia in block form in my area so I put a whole bag of shreds in a food processor and pulsed until the cheese was very fine.
Next combine the cheese, softened butter and shortening, and salt in a standing mixer until completely integrated. Mix in the flour, and then slowly add the water. The dough will be dry so you want to add enough water for it to come together, but you don’t want it to be too wet. Separate the dough into 2 discs, cover and refrigerate for roughly 30 minutes.

Pre-heat oven to 375. Roll out dough on a silicone mat (or parchment paper) to 1/8 inch thick. Using a pastry wheel or whatever you have really, cut the dough into uniform squares. I tried to make mine about an inch like you would get out of the box. Size isn’t as important as much as the uniform part is! Otherwise some crackers will cook faster than others (learned the hard way!) In the center of each square poke a small hole using a toothpick. Sprinkle any additional salt.

Transfer the squares to a greased baking sheet and bake 15 minutes or until the edges are the slightest brown. I poked the center of a few crackers to make sure they weren’t too puffy. Some of the puff will harden as the crackers cool.
Yum!
Here’s a swiss-gruyere version.
And a sharp cheddar!

Mini Bacon and Asparagus Quiches

Processed food is a funny thing. Crescent Rolls. Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts. Duncan Hines Classic Vanilla Frosting. All things you’d think I’d be allergic to but contain 0% dairy. Praise the food Gods.

The crescent rolls come in particularly handy when making mini quiches. Pie crusts are usually safe as well, but why cut something into 12 pieces when it’s already been done for you? I’d been craving quiche lately after seeing L make one. I took some inspiration from the “I LOVE BACON!” book’s Bacon, Asparagus, and Gruyere Quiche. The bacon book’s recipe used a lot of heavy cream and whole milk though. While I can find those soy substitutes, I was looking for something lighter and found a little inspiration from Eatingwell.com too!
Yields 12 mini quiches.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans crescent rolls
  • 5 eggs
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 cup almond milk + 1 TB lemon juice (substitute buttermilk!)
  • 8 slices turkey bacon
  • 6 asparagus spears cooked (I used frozen and thawed… you know… lazy), chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups daiya cheddar style shreds
  • celtic sea salt and pepper to taste
Pre-heat oven to 350. Grease a muffin pan liberally with cooking spray. Line muffin cups with crescent rolls, cutting dough to fill in holes when necessary.
On medium heat, fry up bacon in a large skillet. Crumble or chop bacon into bite-sized pieces.
Whisk together eggs, egg whites, and milk in a small bowl. Sprinkle bacon, asparagus, and cheese into individual cups. Divide the egg mixture evenly among the cups.
Bake mini quiches until the tops are light brown about 25 minutes.
Hopefully the quiches won’t stick too much, use a knife to loosen if needed.
Savor bacon, cheesy, buttery goodness with a little less guilt =).