Simple Weekend Cooking 04: Healthier Mac & Cheese

by Elizabeth on January 21, 2012

It’s comfort food time, people. This week’s been hard, and you deserve a little bit of indulgence. Luckily, I’ve got your back, and while this recipe takes a little longer and uses a few more ingredients than what I usually like to do for Simple Weekend Cooking, it’s a version of classic comfort food that will comfort your soul while still watching out for your waistline.

This version of baked macaroni and cheese has about half the calories and fat as regular homemade mac & cheese, but still can add up (it is cheese, after all), so it’s definitely more of a treat than a staple.  But the good news is that it also delivers a nutritional whallop thanks to the hidden vegetables in the sauce.

 

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 lb cooked macaroni
1 package of frozen pureed winter (butternut) squash, 10 oz
1 cup of 1% milk
1 oz grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
1 oz monterrey jack cheese
1/2 c. skim ricotta
1/2 tsp dried mustard
1/2 tsp salt
dash of cayenne pepper (to taste)

(topping)
1 Tbsp grated parmesan
1 Tbsp bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. olive oil

 

TO COOK:

Thaw the squash in a medium pot, with the milk, over low-ish heat (to keep milk from scalding).  Add the cheddar, ricotta, and monterrey jack cheeses and the spices, and allow all to melt together.  Mix will appear a bit wet, which is okay since it’s going to be baked.  Don’t panic.

Mix the sauce with the cooked macaroni and put into a baking dish.  Mix together the topping ingredients and sprinkle lightly over the top.

Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or so, then switch to broil for several minutes to brown the topping lightly.

We let ours stand for a few minutes to firm up a bit, and serve.  (Serves 4, or one normal person and one ravenous husband.  That may just be here, though.)

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

yarnbeans January 21, 2012 at 7:14 pm

I need to make this for sure!

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adminnie January 22, 2012 at 4:03 am

i’d probably have to make a double batch for my house

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