Shells & Cheeze
Happy Meatless Monday friends!
Have I got a treat for you, stove top Shells & Cheeze – you’re not going to believe this has no dairy! You will need a high speed blender like a Vitamix to give you a super creamy cheeze sauce.
Shells & Cheeze
For the cheeze sauce:
1/2 cup raw cashews
4 to 6 cups warm water
In a medium bowl, soak the cashews in water for 3 to 4 hours to soften. Strain, reserving the cashews and discarding the liquid. Rinse with fresh water, strain. Set aside.
Preparing the sauce:
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 small clove garlic rough chop
2 tbsp neutral tasting oil
1 cup vegetable broth
4 cups (roughly 1 lb) diced (cubed) fresh butternut squash
1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
1 cup of light coconut milk (from can)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp onion granules
generous pinch of garlic powder
1/2 tsp dry mustard powder
1 tsp mellow white miso paste
1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
pinch of white pepper
1 tsp Himalayan pink salt (or to taste)
Heat a pan on low to medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the onions and sweat for at least 5-8 minutes, stirring frequently, to bring out the flavor until translucent. Next add the garlic and sweat for an additional couple of minutes.
Transfer the cooked onions and garlic into the blender.
Meanwhile in a large pan bring vegetable broth to a boil. Add cubes of squash. Sprinkle squash with salt. Cover & cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until fork tender. Drain any remaining liquid, and transfer into the blender.
To finish the sauce, add the cashews, coconut milk, nutritional yeast, onion granules, garlic powder, dry mustard powder, miso paste, lemon juice, white pepper and salt (1 tsp or to taste) to blender with sautéed onions, garlic, and butternut squash. Blend on high speed until smooth.
You will need: 1 lb shell pasta (small to medium), salt, Earth Balance or vegan butter.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season with at least one tbsp of salt. Add shell pasta. Cook according to package directions. Strain.
Add 2 tbsp of Earth Balance or vegan butter to the empty pasta pot. Return strained pasta to pot and stir until coated with “butter”.
Add cheeze sauce to shells. Stir until shells are coated with sauce. If necessary warm shells over low heat, or serve immediately.
**I used pre-cut packaged butternut squash – it’s so easy & available at most grocery stores.
**You will need the salt in here. I typically add two teaspoons to my sauce when I’m blending the ingredients. Taste as you go, it really depends on the vegetable broth you use. My favorite is a no chicken broth.
**I use canned light coconut milk in this recipe for the best taste. I have used oat milk with mixed results. The light coconut does not leave a coconut flavor.