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Cauliflower Mac-n-Cheese with Butternut Squash Sauce

INGREDIENTS:

1 Butternut Squash

1 head of cauliflower, de-stemmed and cut into bite-sized pieces

5 Strips of uncooked bacon, diced *omit if vegan

1/4 cup full fat coconut milk *refrigerate the can overnight and use the thick cream at the top of the can for extra creaminess

1/4 cup soft cheese (I used goat cheese) *if vegan, use 1/4 cup nutritional yeast

1/4 cup vegetable broth

1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs

Pinch of cinnamon

Pinch of nutmeg

Pinch of red pepper flake (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Prepare squash by using a knife to pierce the squash several times. Then place on a baking sheet and roast the squash 60-80 minutes or until tender. Once done, cut in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and discard. Peel of the skin and place squash into a large bowl and set aside.
  2. While the squash is roasting, dice the strips of bacon and place in a large pot. Cook bacon pieces until crispy. Once done, remove the bits of bacon with a spoon, and set aside. Leave about 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease in the pot, discard the rest. *If vegan, use oil of choice.
  3. Sautee the cauliflower in the bacon grease until they are al dente. Add the seasonings while the cauliflower is cooking. Be careful not to over cook the cauliflower so it is mushy. Once cauliflower is done, remove from the pot and place in a large bowl.
  4. Place the squash flesh into a blender and add cheese (or nutritional yeast), vegetable stock and coconut milk and blend on high until it has a creamy consistency. *You may or may not need to add additional broth to thin out the sauce. You don’t want it too runny, just runny enough to coat a spoon.
  5. Pour 1/2 of the butternut squash sauce over the cauliflower and mix until well combined. Pour the mixture in a baking dish. Top with panko bread crumbs and bacon, and return to the oven. Bake until the break crumbs are brown and the entire dish is heated through and bubbly.
  6. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

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