Tag Archives: Easy weeknight meal

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

17 Feb

Food I Love You Macaroni and Cheese

Serves 4-6

Ugh!  You’re homesick.  Which explains why your day has been anything but productive.  Aside from thumbing through your Facebook Timeline.  It’s a good thing you got that organized.  What will make you feel better?  Macaroni and cheese.  But you couldn’t—you wouldn’t.  Oh, yes you would.   When you make a healthier version like this Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese.

Ingredients: 

2 C. whole-wheat shell pasta

1 C. butternut squash, cubed

1 Tbsp. olive oil

¼ C. whole-wheat flour

¼ tsp. sea salt

2 Tbsp. butter

1 ½ C. low-fat milk

½ C. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

1 tsp. olive oil

½ C. Italian breadcrumbs

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/8 tsp. dried oregano

Salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray six ramekins with baking oil and place on cookie sheet.  Cook shells according to packaging.

Coat butternut squash with olive oil, season with salt and pepper.  Roast for 20 minutes.  Flip and cook for another ten minutes.  Remove squash, set aside.  Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees.

Place flour, salt, butter and milk in a 3-quart pot on medium heat.  Stir constantly until light bubbles form around the side of the pot.  Reduce heat to low until flour dissolves.  Remove from heat, transfer to blender and add squash.  Blend until fully combined.  Add cheese and blend again, until incorporated.  Season with salt and pepper.  Pour sauce over cooked shells and stir to coat.  Divide macaroni among ramekins.

In a small pan, heat olive oil on low heat.  Stir in breadcrumbs, cayenne pepper and oregano.  Remove from heat.  Evenly distribute breadcrumb mixture on top of macaroni.   Bake mac & cheese for 30 minutes.  Allow to cool for at least five minutes.  Serve warm.

FOOD THAT LOVES YOU, TOO: Low in fat, butternut squash makes an excellent side or meat replacement in vegetarian dishes.  That nice orange hue means it’s packed with beta-carotene, which combats breast cancer and supports the healthy lung development of fetuses and newborns.  So, eat up, moms!

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