Vegan Macaroni Squash & The China Study Cookbook

Macaroni Squash from The China Study Cookbook

Hi and happy Monday to ‘ya! I was sent a copy of The China Study Cookbook recently for a review. The book features over 120 healthy, plant-based recipes and was written by Leanne Campbell, Ph.D., who is the daughter of the renowned China Study scientist, T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D.

This cookbook sounded right up my alley, so I was thrilled to receive a copy and check out some of the recipes. It starts with a nice introduction by the author who describes her journey to a plant-based diet including the influence of the work of her father and her experience as a member of the Peace Corps working in the Dominican Republic. She includes a Q&A section on how to raise plant-based kids and an overview of how to build a healthy lifestyle in the midst of busy, modern living.

The China Study Cookbook

When selecting a recipe to share with you, my interest was peaked by the Macaroni Squash, especially because I had two pre-cooked sweet potatoes in the refrigerator just begging to be used. I substituted the sweet potatoes for the butternut squash and used my favorite brand of gluten-free pasta (Tinkyada brown rice spirals), and boy, oh boy, was I rewarded with a delicious, satisfying dish. Here’s what it looked like before I baked it (I left out the salt in the recipe and topped the whole thing with some dried oregano):

Macaroni Squash ready to be baked

To make it a more well-rounded meal, I served my serving with some steamed spinach just dressed with a squeeze of fresh lemon:

A bite of Macaroni Squash

Here’s the recipe as printed in the book:

The China Study Cookbook: Recipe & Giveaway
Cuisine: Main Dish
Serves: 4
  • 1 16-oz box cooked whole wheat macaroni
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable broth
  • 2 cups cooked butternut squash, mashed
  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • ½ cup soy milk
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons white miso
  • Sea salt to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  2. Place cooked macaroni in a large baking dish and set aside.
  3. Saute onion and garlic with 2 tablespoons vegetable broth in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add squash and cook until just heated through. Add to macaroni and mix well.
  4. Process cashews, milk, water, nutritional yeast, and miso in a food processor until smooth.
  5. Pour over macaroni mixture and mix well. Season with salt. Then cover with foil, and bake for 15 minutes.
  6. Tip: Butternut squash can be purchased both in the frozen food section and in the produce section

I was more than pleased with how well this dish turned out and I can’t wait to make more of the recipes including the Spicy Pumpkin Soup, Dominican Beans, and No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars. I love that all of the recipes have pictures, too, which I find to be an enticing feature of any cookbook.

The publisher, BenBella Books, has generously offered to send one lucky reader a copy of The China Study Cookbook. Use the Rafflecopter link below to enter and to read the rules and regulations (open to U.S. and Canadian residents):

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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  1. Leann says

    Entered now we wait 🙂 very interested because I control my blood sugar by what I eat and I could sure use some help.

  2. Jeanne says

    Hi Carrie,
    This does sound like a good dish, I’m going to give it a try. Thanks for the review on the cook book too!

    Take care,

  3. Linda5sons says

    I can’t do miso; does the recipe ‘need’ it? any substitute suggestions? I wondered whether perhaps pureed Swiss chard stalks (chard is comparatively high-salt for a veggie) might sub successfully. I’ve got a beautiful crop of chard in my autumn garden.

    • says

      You can leave out the miso, but you might need something for a little flavor like some tamari or coconut aminos? If not, a teensy bit of salt will do. Hmmm, interesting thought to add the pureed Swiss Chard stalks, that would certainly greatly increase the nutrition, too! 🙂

  4. Jay says


    My toddler loves anything pasta. I have been sneaking all beans/hummus as ‘cheese’ in them. I was thinking to add veggies paste. Your dish looks delish, will give it a try and if she eats butternut squash, It would be great 🙂 Thanks for the Cookbook review too! Interested to try it.

  5. says

    I got this recipe book recently – haven’t tried this recipe yet but now i’m going to lol
    Everything i’ve tried so far has been great 😀

  6. says

    I recently ordered this book and I agree that it has a lot of great pictures. I’ve yet to make any of the recipes, however – I need to get going on that!

    • says

      Let me know which recipes you try, Amy! I have only made the Macaroni Squash but I like how there are so many easy ones like that Spicy Pumpkin Soup.

  7. says

    Your site is just full of wonderful dishes. I do not know where to start. Though vegan if healthy, if I have to cook everything and eat them too, I will “bulge” . With all these recipes here, I am just so confused. Thanks.

  8. Caroline says

    This book has the best recipe ever for mayonnaise. I think cashews are the secret ingredient. I also love the way she demonstrates how to cook for a family with older children. But seriously, check out the mayo!!

    • says

      Hi Michelle, the concern with cooking nuts at a high temperature is the formation of acrylamides. However, occasional intake isn’t that big of a deal, I have heard Dr. Fuhrman say that a few tablespoons of roasted nut butter is okay every week so this recipe would fall into that category of occasional intake.

      • Michelle says

        That is assuring! Thank you Carrie! Does the same thing apply to hemp seeds and flax seeds? I see a lot of baked goods recipes with ground flax seeds and hemp seeds in cupcake and pancake etc. But I was not sure about if it is healthy.
        Oh and when you are in NYC, you should dine at quitessence in East Village. It is organic raw vegan restaurant! They have fofu, which is their version of raw tofu.

        • says

          Yes, Michelle, I think that some baked flax is fine, there is even research supporting that (I’m not sure about the hemp seeds, though, I usually try to keep those raw, just to preserve the omega-3’s). I don’t know if there are any black and white rules for this situation, though, ya know? Thanks for the restaurant recommendation, there are so many options, I can’t wait!!! 🙂

          • Michelle says

            I see…you mentioned that there is even research supporting that. I researched etensively myself but could not find any research supporting the effect of heating flax seeds. Can you by any chance share the links?
            Have a safe trip! Excited to see travel posts on nyc where I reside!

          • says

            Hi Michelle! The research I read had to do with the health benefits of flax overall, not necessarily between unheated vs heated. I honestly have no idea where I saw the research, though, so I won’t be able to track it down for you.

  9. says

    Oh yum! I’m going to have to make this. I love that you subbed sweet potato for squash. And tinkyada noodles help make the world go round don’t they? ;p
    I’m going to have to check out this cookbook!

    • says

      Hi Kimmy! It was my boyfriend Chad Sarno who introduced me to Tinkyada noodles, he recommended them at the Dr. Fuhrman Getaway this past summer where he was doing a cooking demo. 🙂

  10. Jill in Chicago says

    I know I’m too late for the giveaway, but I love the China Study, love the Campbell family, and am so happy to hear about this cookbook! Thanks for sharing!


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