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Gluten Free Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese by Donna Douglass

Here’s a great recipe for glutenfree individuals as well as anyone who wants a delicious, nutritious meal. The butternut squash provides Vitamin C and the quinoa pasta is a great source of protein. It is great for diabetics because it does not raise the blood sugar levels like regular pasta.

This cheesy mac and cheese is loved by kids and adults. The added extra cheese and homemade bread crumbs on top give that crunchy layer of yum.

Gluten Free Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Serves 4

1 butternut squash, cut in half, lengthwise

8 ounce box of quinoa elbows

3 tablespoons butter

¼ cup brown rice flour

1 cup milk, plus extra

½ tablespoon Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon salt fresh grated nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

8 ounces cheddar cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut butternut squash in half and discard seeds. Place cut side down on a baking sheet and roast for 30-40 minutes or until tender. When squash is done, cool and peel. Puree in food processor. Set aside.

Bring a medium pot of water to boil. Cook pasta according to directions and then drain and set aside. In another pot, melt butter and slowly add flour to make it into a paste and then take off the heat. Slowly pour in milk and return to heat and whisk until it thickens. Add pureed squash (¼ – ½ cup) to thicken sauce. Add mustard, nutmeg, salt and cayenne pepper. Stir in most of the cheese but be sure to reserve some for the topping. Add some more milk if too thick.

Combine pasta and thickened sauce in a large bowl and coat evenly. Transfer to a buttered pyrex or casserole dish. Sprinkle extra cheese. To give it a crusty top, sprinkle on some gluten free breadcrumbs. Place in 375 degree oven and bake 20-30 minutes until golden.

This freezes well but just be sure to cool before freezing. Wrap the top with plastic wrap and then wrap the whole dish in foil and label and date it. To defrost, take it out of the freezer the night before and put in the refrigerator overnight. Prior to baking, bring the mac and cheese to room temperature (about 30 minutes) and preheat the oven. Remove the plastic wrap and foil and bake for 20-30 minutes until golden.

Donna Douglass is a natural foods chef, certified health coach and owner of What’s Cooking, a culinary and wellness education company. She helps busy people and those with special diets and offers various health coaching services that include meal preparation, cooking and nutrition education. For more information, contact 548- 6520 or cooking@hvc.rr.com or visit WhatsCookingForYou.com.

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