Merry, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!
Ok, people. Recipe #31 is one of my most loved. Its homey, cheesy, so satisfying. I can never stop at just one plate. Its also the perfect winter dish. Behold, the quintessential Christmas day meal. (It is gluten-free and sugar-free. Its definitely not dairy free). My Christmas gift to you:
Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
2 tablespoons of flour
2 tablespoons of margarine or butter
2-3 cups of sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated (my favorite brand is Land o Lakes. For those in Europe who cannot get that brand, any cheddar will do. However it won’t be quite as awesome as the sharp taste of Land o Lakes brand).
1 box of medium shell pasta noodles, cooked al dente and drained (I use gluten-free but regular is fine too)
1 ¼ cup of coconut milk (regular milk works fine too, if you don’t mind dairy)
½ cup of canned pumpkin
Salt (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)
A pinch of nutmeg
- Begin boiling the water for pasta and once boiling, pour in the noodles to begin cooking. Cook according to instructions on the box.
- Melt the butter in a glass baking dish in the microwave.
- Stir in the flour and coconut milk.
- Heat the flour/milk mixture in the microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds. Stir with a fork or wire whisk to break up any lumps. Repeat this cycle (microwaving and stirring) 5-6 times until the mixture is thick like a sauce.
- At this point, the pasta should be either finished or nearly finished cooking.
- Add the grated cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper to the thickened sauce. Stir well, making sure all the cheese is melted and has blended in. Stir in the pumpkin.
- Add the cooked noodles to the finished sauce, stirring well with a large spoon to make sure all are covered with cheese sauce. Microwave the entire thing for 1 minutes and 30 seconds more, just for good measure.
- Serve warm
Depending on how comfortable you are with cooking, this recipe can totally be improvised upon. Feel free to get creative. For example, you could sauté up some pieces of sausage along with some chopped onions and add them into the finished dish. You could throw in some cooked bacon or spinach. Anything really. The sky’s the limit.
However, I like this recipe straight up, on its own. I recommend trying it that way first before experimenting.
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave for 1 minute 30 seconds to potentially even 2 minutes before enjoying leftovers.