I woke up to a chilly thunder and lightning storm, there was hail as I poured my coffee, and I am still trying to get myself warm. Winter is here and there are a few staple meals I use to get through the cold months that are both comforting and nourishing.
Comfort food has a reputation for being indulgent and unhealthy. However, I think it is totally possible for comfort food to also be healthy.
This recipe is full of immune boosting nutrients like vitamins A and C as well as all of the B vitamins. Additionally, the bone broth provides vital amino acids and protein content. The fiber content will keep you feeling full as well as feed the beneficial microbes in your gut microbiome.
Did you know 70% of your immune system resides in the gut microbiome? In order to keep our immune response strong we must provide the biome with an influx of beneficial bacteria like lactobacilli from parmesan cheese, and food for the bacteria (probiotics) that come from fiber.
You may notice this meal contains some cheese and dairy, which off the bat sounds unhealthy. However, the cheese and gluten products I use are both highly fermented to reduce both the amount of lactose and gluten, respectively. As always, you have the power to leave out and swap products in any recipe. Have fun with it and enjoy!
Winter Veggie Mac and Cheese
2 TBS grass-fed butter
½ yellow onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 head cheddar cauliflower, regular is fine too, cut into florets
½ medium butternut squash
1 cup bone broth
¼ cup full fat coconut milk
4 TBS nutritional yeast
¾ tsp sea salt
½ tsp black pepper
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 lb whole wheat sourdough pasta (I like Pasta Fermentata)
1 bunch kale
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees, line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl toss the cauliflower florets with a little avocado oil, place in a single layer on the baking sheet, roast for 20 minutes or until soft.
Meanwhile peel the butternut squash, cut off one third of the squash and slice into small cubes or thin slices. Toss in avocado oil and add to the second baking sheet in a single layer and roast until soft, roughly 15-20 minutes.
While the veggies are roasting chop the onion and garlic. In a large pot melt the butter over medium heat, add the onion and garlic. Cook until slightly browned. Add the cauliflower and butternut squash, stir to mix well. Add the bone broth and bring to a boil. Cook until the veggies are soft, roughly 2-5 minutes. Remove from heat, add to a high-speed blender with coconut milk, nutritional yeast, parmesan (if using), salt, and pepper. Blend on high until smooth.
Cook the pasta according to package directions. While the pasta is cooking, de-stem the kale and rip into bite sized pieces. Place your colander in the sink, add the kale pieces. Once the pasta is read to drain, pour the water and pasta over the kale in the colander. Let sit for 1-2 minutes, add back to the pot.
Pour 1/2 of the sauce over the kale and pasta, stir until well combined. Divide into bowls and top with a little more sauce.