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Macaro-No Cheese with Crispy Kale

The one thing I often encounter when people discover I’m vegan is an immediate lamentation for my cheese-less existence. It’s true that cheese is no longer a part of my life, and despite having previously spent most of my days as a total dairy fiend, even I can’t quite fathom why I simply don’t miss it. Perhaps in part it has a lot to do with dishes like this one, which perfectly replicates that ultimate comfort food feel—and something tells me you won’t be boo-hooing about the lack of cheddar either.
Yields 2 -4 servings
Author Áine Carlin

Ingredients

  • 1 x 13/4 lb butternut squash halved and seeded
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 scant teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 vegetable bouillon cube
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • salt and freshly ground
  • black pepper
  • 9 oz macaroni

For the crispy kale

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 21/4 cups kale torn into
  • bite-sized pieces
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
  2. Place the squash, flesh side down, in a roasting pan and pour in about 1/2 cup water. Bake in the oven for 1 hour or until the flesh is completely soft. Leave the oven at the same temperature to cook the kale later on. Set the squash aside to cool slightly before scooping out the flesh with a spoon and blending with the coconut milk to a smooth purée in a blender.
  3. Pour the purée into a saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer before adding the Dijon mustard, crumbled bouillon cube, and cider vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and add a little water to loosen the sauce. Continue to simmer for another 20 minutes until it thickens and turns pale yellow.
  4. Bring a large pan of salted water to boil. Add the pasta and cook for just slightly under the recommended time.
  5. While the pasta is cooking, rub the olive oil all over the kale pieces. Spread out on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 8–10 minutes or until completely crisp. Sprinkle sea salt flakes over the top.
  6. Drain the macaroni and transfer to the pan of squash sauce. Stir to combine and heat through gently over low heat for about 5 minutes. Serve in heated bowls and top with the salty, crispy kale.

Recipe Notes

Recipe from Keep It Vegan: Over 100 Simple, Healthy and Delicious Dishes by Áine Carlin