Yellow Squash Au Gratin

I love great sides dishes and I feel like I haven’t made enough of them lately! I am always looking for something interesting to pair with my protein of choice. Typically, that’s steak. I love making “comfort” foods too. Au gratin was always another favorite. I decided that I would capitalize on squash season. I opted to go for yellow squash because I haven’t had it in a while.

I chose to use raw cheese, which is okay in moderation, according to some. Vegan cheese works too. Otherwise, if you want to forgo that all together, use the substitution of nutritional yeast and Vitamin C crystals. It’s completely up to you.

With the holidays coming, this is a great dish to take along to a party.

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4 yellow squash
1 ½ cup coconut milk, full fat
1 tsp black pepper – about half for sprinkling on squash
1 tsp thyme – about half for sprinkling on squash
¾ cup raw or vegan cheese (substitute – 4 tbsp nutritional flakes and 2 tsp Vitamin C crystals)
2 tsp arrowroot powder
3 tsp cold water

“Bread Crumb” Topping
3 tbsp almond flour
¼ tsp pepper
½ tsp parsley
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp basil

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Use a mandolin slicer to make uniform, thin yellow squash slices. If you don’t have a mandolin slicer, use a knife to carefully make the slices.yellow squash au gratin, paleo, dairy free
3. In a baking dish, lay a layer of squash. Sprinkle a little of the thyme and black pepper on top. Make another layer on top. Sprinkle again with thyme and black pepper. Continue until finished layering the squash and about an inch away from the top.
4. In a medium sized saucepan, over medium-low heat, add vegan cheese, the rest of the thyme and black pepper, and coconut milk. Allow to warm and for the “cheese” to melt. Bring to a slow boil.
5. In a small bowl, mix the arrowroot powder and cold water, making a slurry. (This is the best way to incorporate arrowroot as a starch so that it doesn’t clump.)
6. Add the arrowroot slurry to the boiling sauce. Continue to boil another minute to thicken. Remove from heat.
7. Pour the sauce evenly over the squash.
8. In another bowl, mix the topping ingredients. Sprinkle over the top of the casserole, covering the dish.
9. Bake for 40-45 minutes.

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