This meatless monday I am happy to offer up an extremely healthy version of my personal favorite, Macaroni and Cheese. Why is it the healthiest you ask? This cheesy deliciousness is packed full of a whole head of cauliflower and an entire butternut squash. And the best part is that you can’t taste either one of them.
Macaroni and cheese was my absolute favorite as a kid. I grew up on velveeta and would wait patiently for my mom to tell me that it was ready. If it was too hot, I would take some of my milk and pour it on, in order to cool it down so I didn’t have to wait so long to eat it. Those were the days.
Then you wake up, you’re almost 28 and you can’t just go around eating whatever you want. You have to find healthy alternatives, start eating steel cut oatmeal for breakfast, and openly wonder if you’re getting enough fiber in your diet.
An entire butternut squash is camouflaged as a rich cheesy sauce. A whole head of cauliflower is chopped real tiny and boiled with pasta; and when covered in cheese you can’t even see that you’re eating it, it looks just like pasta.
As it turned out, E. was the one who couldn’t wait for dinner last night. He was pacing in and out of the kitchen asking for a definite dinner time. With two big servings, we sat down and ate our hearts out, just without feeling so guilty.
Healthiest Macaroni and Cheese
4 cups cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1 1 1/2 pound squash)
4 cups of low- fat milk
2 teaspoons of kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
9 ounces of cheddar cheese
1/4 cup (1 ounce) of finely grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 pound uncooked your favorite pasta
1 head of cauliflower finely chopped
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine the squash, and milk, in a medium saucepan. Bring it to a boil over medium-high heat, being careful not to scorch the milk. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer until squash is tender when pierced with a fork, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat.
Blend the milk and squash until its smooth. While it’s still hot, add in the 9 ounces of cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
Cook the pasta, with the cauliflower according to package directions, and drain well.
Combine the pasta and cauliflower mixture with the squash mixture, in a dutch oven.
Bake for 30 minutes or until browned and bubbly.