October 18, 2012

Mac 'n Cheeze Vegetable Casserole

On Saturday at market, they had broccoli on sale, 3 head for $5. So far, I've used 1 head; it was large enough for us to have steamed as part of our rice bowls on Saturday night, added to this casserole, & eated for lunch on Monday. I have 2 heads left. I think tonight we'll have broccoli soup. Maybe tomorrow night we can roast it. Good thing I love broccoli!

This dish is a lighter take on macaroni & cheese. While it is admittedly less creamy, you can always double the sauce recipe to get more of a traditional casserole. The flavors are delicious & it has the added benefit of being very healthy. We love this pumpkin cheeze sauce & I was so excited to have it for the first time this fall! I discovered it from Angela's blog last fall & we had it many times, but then we moved on from pumpkins & sort of forgot about it until now.

Even if you're skeptical of this, just try it. I think you'll love it! It tastes decadent, even though it's full of healthy ingredients. The pasta to vegetable ratio is perfect for me (about even). If you prefer more veggies or more pasta, just tweak it to your liking. It's easy to mix up this dish.


Mac 'n Cheeze Vegetable Casserole
Sauce inspired by OhSheGlows.com
Serves 6

1 box whole wheat elbow macaroni
1 large onion, sliced
2 bell peppers, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 small zucchini, chopped
1 small head of broccoli, chopped
1 T organic butter
1 1/2 c unsweetened original almond milk
1 T cornstarch
3/4 tsp. garlic powder
8 T nutritional yeast
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. dried ground mustard
1 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4-1/2 c panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350. Coat a 9"x13" baking pan with cooking spray. Prepare pasta as indicated on the box. While the water boils & the past cooks, prepare remaining ingredients.

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook onions until soft, about 4-5 minutes. Add peppers, jalapeno, & garlic. Cook for another 4 minutes, then add zucchini & broccoli. Cook just until tender.

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add milk & cornstarch, whisking until smooth. Stir in garlic powder, nutritional yeast, Dijon mustard, dried ground mustard, and pumpkin. Combine, then add salt & pepper, adjusting to taste.
Once everything is ready, combine pasta, vegetables, and sauce. Stir until noodles are all coated with sauce. Pour into the prepared baking pan. Top with panko bread crumbs. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until heated through and the top is browned.

Alternately, you can skip the baking step and serve as a stove top mac n' cheeze. I like the baking step because the flavors have more time to meld & the top gets crunchy, but for a quicker meal, it's still tasty pre-baking!


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