Squash Mac & Cheese ( Vegan Guest Recipe)

I am so thrilled to announce that I am resuming my student guest blogging program with nutrition student volunteers from Ryerson University.

Today I am proud to you introduce you to Jenessa Clark AKA The Balanced Ballerina 

She has an absolutely epic vegan mac & cheese recipe in store for you today so I’m going to go head and let her take it away!

The Balanced Ballerina Presents: Squash Mac & Cheese

We all love comforting mac & cheese, but I hate to break it to you fellow University students…that boxed mac & cheese is doing nothing for your gut health.

This clean mac & cheese is made with acorn squash that will keep your complexion glowing from all the vitamin A you need in one day! Not to mention, a boost of vitamin C that will help fight off those viruses we all deal with during the stress of exam season.

Although you may be attached to your quick and easy boxed KD, this recipe requires little effort making it a great substitution.

Quick Tip

Batch cooking your squash to start the week off right! (Two halves facedown on a baking sheet in the oven at 360F)

Believe me, the most challenging part of this recipe is cutting the squash into two halves before baking…


                             SQUASH MAC & CHEESE 

Prep Time                           Total Time 

5 mins                                   40 mins

Clean mac & cheese that heals your inner and outer body with essential nutrients to immunity and skin health such as vitamin A, vitamin C, omega fatty acids and fiber.

Author: Jenessa Clark

Recipe Type: Lunch, Side

Cuisine: Vegan

Serves: 1


-Mac & cheese-

1 half of baked acorn squash

1 cup whole wheat macaroni

2 cups water (for cooking pasta)

1 tbsp cashew milk

salt & pepper


1 tbsp coconut flour

1 tbsp Manitoba Hemp Hearts

1 tbsp avocado oil


1) Cut squash into two halves, bake for about 30 minutes or until insides come out of shell easily.

2) Cook pasta in boiling water.

3) After draining water, add squash to the pot and mix with milk and spices.

4) In another pan, heat avocado oil, add hemp hearts and flour to mix until golden brown and crispy.

5) Add topping to mac & cheese mixture and enjoy!


About The Author ( Jenessa Clark AKA Balanced Ballerina)

In her own words…

Growing up as a ballet dancer in Winnipeg being trained at an advanced competitive level, I was extremely hard on myself for not meeting anything other than perfection. Comparing myself to the other girls sizes and abilities in my classes affected what I ate, how often I exercised and my social life.

When I moved to Toronto to receive an education in Nutrition and Food Science, studying how our bodies function and the chemistry behind food I began to understand how to properly fuel my body to increase my performance as a dancer.

Changing my lifestyle to eat more nourishing foods and exercise in a way that is not overcompensating has allowed me to gain confidence not only as a dancer, but in everyday life!

I don’t believe in deprivation, quick fixes and elimination. I do however believe in eating the meals you love and finding alternatives that are sustainable for your lifestyle and the environment long term.

I developed Balanced Ballerina to show the truth behind food and how it effects our bodies from my education in food science, biochemistry, physiology and metabolism. It’s time to stop believing body deprivation is the answer to beauty and start getting balanced!


Thank so you much for sharing Jenessa, and I could not be more excited to be resuming my student guest blogger program and sharing some amazing recipes with you guys!

Until next time,

Andy De Santis RD MPH