Family-friendly, feel good mac n' cheese recipe

Modern Mac ‘n Cheese: For the Soul Food Connoisseur

Back in the dieting dark ages, it was all about restrictions—no fats, no carbs, no sugar. Atkins paper-backs ruled the bookstore and embracing the South Beach didn’t mean going on a sunny vacation.

Skip forward a few years and, thanks in part to movies such as Forks Over Knives and celebrities such as Joaquin Phoenix, Beyoncé and even the editor of Harpers Bazaar, plant-based eating is the new diet du jour.

So what’s it all about?

The Benefits of Plant-Based Eating

The inclusion of plant-based, whole food has been proven to make people not only feel better but can treat and even reverse chronic conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

So, if we know that including more vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains into our daily meals and snacks is so good for us, why aren’t we doing it more often?

Delicious mac n' cheese
Family-friendly, feel good mac n’ cheese

Introducing the Chef: Priscilla Levan Cannon

“I’ve always been health driven,” said Cannon who resides in Squamish.

“When I was a professional snowboarder I thought I was pretty healthy because I was eating lots of organic veggies and fresh meat. It was all about the protein. But I had a lot of water retention and could just feel something wasn’t right.”

She had tried many diets but nothing had worked because none had seemed sustainable.

But in 2007 everything changed.

While taking time off to recover from an injury, she read a book on raw food that she calls a ‘life changer’.

“That was the beginning of my journey,” she said.

That was eight years ago and, though eating raw food isn’t realistic every day, she explained (especially now that she has a family), she’s found a sustainable balance between nourishing her body with raw foods and eating cooked, organic, whole foods.

So passionate is she about this way of life, that she’s since become a certified raw food chef and wants to help spread the word about how powerful this way of eating can be. Her insights and recipes can be found on her mouth-watering food blog: Satisfy your Soul.

“It’s not just about being healthy; it has huge impacts on the planet…We can’t control pollution but we can certainly control what we put in our bodies.”

Modern Mac ‘n Cheese

If you love mac n' cheese and love staying healthy, this is the perfect recipe. It's a family-friendly dish that's a hit with both adults and kids.


  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon light miso paste
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup raw and unsalted cashews, soaked for 6-8 hours (drained and rinsed)
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 400 grams macaroni shells. Depending on how creamy you like it, and if you add steamed broccoli (which I highly recommend)


  1. First, cut your butternut squash in half and place it face down on an oily baking pan. Bake for about 40 minutes at 350F or until soft. When cool, discard the seeds in the centre with a spoon, then scoop out 2 cups of flesh for the recipe. Set aside.
  2. In an oily pan, cook your onions for 5 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for another minute. Set aside.
  3. Throw everything in a high-speed blender, except the lemon juice. Blend for 5 minutes or until really smooth.
  4. Transfer your mixture in a pot, and cook on medium heat for about 15 minutes while stirring occasionally. Add lemon juice at the end.
  5. Mix in with macaroni shells (and, I highly recommend steamed broccoli). Enjoy!

Priscilla's tips

  1. This recipe freezes really well. Make a big batch and portion it up for future meals.
  2. Butternut squashes also keep for a long time, so get them while they’re on sale.

Olivia Bevan

The author Olivia Bevan

Olivia Bevan hails from the North West of England and now calls BC home. She loves writing and kickboxing, and would secretly like to love running more than she actually does–especially as she’s just committed to a 50km race. Ouch.
Tags : Mac n' cheese

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