Thursday, December 11, 2008

Mac N Cheese Plus

It seems like all kids like mac n cheese, but many of us parents are not willing to give them the blue boxed version. We'd like them to eat real food, but we'd also like them to enjoy it. Here is my recipe for an easy homemade mac n cheese that is lower in fat than most recipes, and higher in nutrients and fiber. You might even want to eat it with your kids.

Mac N Cheese Plus
1 box Eden Small Vegetable Shells (available in health food stores and some supermarkets)
6 oz. butternut squash, peeled and cubed (frozen is also fine here)
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. all purpose flour
1/4-1/2 c. fat-free milk
6 oz. shredded lowfat cheese of your choice (monterey jack mixed with cheddar is a winning combination, I think)
salt and pepper, to taste
2 Tbsps. parsley, minced

Cook the pasta according to package directions. In a metal steamer basket, steam the butternut squash until tender (about 10 minutes). Move squash into a small bowl and mash with a fork (or puree, if you're sensitive to the stringiness of the squash).

Drain pasta in a colander. In the same pot, melt the butter over low heat. Add the flour and whisk constantly for about 1 minute. Add 1/4 cup milk and continue to whisk. Allow to thicken for about 2 minutes, whisking frequently. Add the cheese, continuing to whisk. Season with salt and pepper. To loosen, add more milk until you reach desired consistency. Add the squash and stir to combine. Remove from heat. Combine the cheese sauce with the pasta. Add the parsley, mixing to distribute. Serve.

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