addicting vegan (cheese)y sauce
EVERYTHING is better with a cheese sauce. And I mean everything. Today my sister and I were reminiscing about how our parents convinced us to eat broccoli by melting large amounts of Velveeta cheese and allowing us to pour it on top of the greens. To this day I prefer to eat broccoli with cheese on top!
This recipe is a game-changer. The base of the sauce is butternut squash, which lends a creaminess that you will not believe does not contain dairy! Add in carrots, nut milk of your choice and some spices, and you will have an addicting sauce ready to be poured over anything. We have this sauce at least once a week in our house. I have tried pouring it on pasta, quinoa, broccoli, cauliflower baked sweet potatoes, you name it- all with rave reviews from the children! If you don't tell them, they won't even notice it's not mac 'n cheese! My daughter really likes to dip her food in things (think ketchup) so I will give her a small bowl on the side and she will lick it clean. I have also spoon fed this sauce to my almost 1 year old just like a butternut squash puree.
The tumeric in this recipe gives the "cheese" sauce a beautiful pop of color, and plenty of added health benefits. But if you don't happen to have tumeric in your spice cabinet, don't worry...the sauce will still taste plenty delicious without!
1 large butternut squash
2 cups of your nut-milk of choice (I tend to use almond or cashew)
1/2 t ground tumeric
1 t garlic powder
1 t onion powder
1 t Himalayan pink sea salt
1/4 t ground black pepper
squeeze of lemon
Slice the butternut squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Lay squash flesh side down on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake at 375° for 45 min. (This step can be done hours ahead of time. I do it anytime throughout the day that the kids will give me a second)
Once the squash is cool enough to handle, use a spoon and scrape the flesh into a high powered blender or food processor (I swear by my Vitamix and don't know what I would do without it!!) Discard the skin.
Add the rest of the ingredients to the blender. If you have a very high powered machine, like a Vitamix, you can leave your carrots raw. I dice them into 2 inch pieces. If your machine will get caught up on something as hard as a raw carrot, dice them into 1 inch pieces and boil for 15 minutes before you add them to your machine.
Blend on high until creamy. You may want to add more nut milk based on how thin you would like your sauce to be. I like a thinner sauce for mac 'n cheese, and something thicker to coat broccoli or other vegetables. I also will sometimes add a cup of cooked red lentils or chickpeas just for a protein boost. If you do this, play around with adding a little extra liquid. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Veggies on veggies on veggies...and the best part is, the kids won't think twice!