Butternut Squash Mac n Cheese

By Meghan Rossi

I have a long standing love affair with Mac ‘n Cheese. From childhood to penny pinching early days of my career to restaurants all over the U.S., I’ve had Mac ‘n Cheese in many different varieties. The obsession runs deep. Ugh, craving it right now just writing this!

The reality is, this cheesy, noodley goodness isn’t the greatest thing for you. In my quest to quench my hankering for the golden glory of Mac ‘n Cheese, I stumbled upon the brilliance of Butternut Squash Mac n’ Cheese.

INGREDIENTS:

– 2 cups of peeled and diced butternut squash
– Milk (about a 1/2-1 cup; you’ll slowly add as you mix)
– Garlic and Fresh Ground Pepper
– Cheese! Your favorite mix of organic or vegan cheese: cheddar, mozzarella, pepper jack, a sprinkle of feta, whatever your heart desires  (about a 1/2-1 cup; you’ll slowly add as you mix. the goal is to have a taste of cheese, but allow the butternut squash to be the bulk of the dish)
– Spinach (optional)
– Box/Bag of Macaroni noodles (your goal is to find the healthiest noodles you can: little to no sugar, multi-grain, gluten free, quinoa, brown rice whatever tickles your fancy and dietary needs)
– Olive Oil

DIRECTIONS

– Steam the butternut squash. Put into mixing bowl.
– Cook noodles as instructed. Drain and rinse the noodles in cool water. Pour into large bowl and sprinkle a little olive oil so the noodles don’t stick together.
– back to the butternut squash. Start slowly mixing and pouring in a bit of milk at a time. You don’t want it to get too soupy. It’s like you’re making mashed potatoes!
– once the butternut squash is down to a fine purée add it to the noodles. Gently stir.
– now that everything is hot, start stirring in your cheese! Keep stirring as it melts with the heat of the noodles and butternut squash.
– Sprinkle in some garlic and fresh ground pepper to taste.
– I wanted to add a little extra nutrient kick, so I defrosted some frozen organic spinach patties, broke them up and stirred them in. You can do the same with cooked frozen or fresh spinach.

And there you have it! Healthy comfort food.

Enjoy foodies!

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