January 10, 2018
Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese
Swap out the blue box and sneak in two servings of veggies with this healthier take on a childhood comfort food classic.
Replacing your standard cream sauce for one made with a blend of butternut squash and cauliflower not only reduces the amount of fat and calories in this pasta bake, it also adds a slew of nutritional benefits to each forkful.
Butternut squash is a good source of beta-carotene, a type of carotenoid that our bodies convert to vitamin A. Not only is vitamin A great for healthy vision, this immune-boosting antioxidant can help lessen inflammation and prevent diseases like the common cold.
Similarly to butternut squash, cauliflower is high in vitamins and minerals that help the body fight off infection and preserve eye health.
Additionally, cauliflower is high in vitamins C and K, two anti-inflammatory antioxidants that can help reduce the chance of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
Pasta made from chickpeas (or other legumes like lentils or black beans) adds protein and extra fiber.
Reduce the amount of cheese to lower the fat content even more.
Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese
Recipe adapted from The Healthy Foodie
8 ounces chickpea pasta (rotini or elbow works best)
1 tablespoon ghee
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 cups butternut squash, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 cups cauliflower florets, chopped
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup Gouda cheese, grated
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, grated
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta for 2 minutes less than recommended on the package. Drain and set aside.
3. While the pasta is cooking, melt the ghee in a large saucepan set over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, salt and pepper and cook until fragrant and slightly softened, about 2 minutes.
4. Add the butternut squash and cauliflower florets and continue cooking an additional 2 minutes.
5. Stir in the chicken broth and Dijon mustard, and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer until the vegetables are tender and slightly overcooked, about 8-10 minutes.
6. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Working in batches, puree the mixture until smooth using a food processor or high-speed blender. Return to the saucepan and add the grated cheeses, setting aside a handful of each to sprinkle on top of the dish later. Mix delicately with a wooden spoon until the cheese is fully melted and the sauce is completely combined.
7. Stir in the cooked pasta and transfer to a 9-inch square baking dish. Top with the reserved handfuls of grated cheese and bake in the oven for about 55 minutes to 1 hour, or until the cheese is melted and golden and the sauce starts to bubble on the sides.
8. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Nutritional information per serving:
Calories: 350; Carbohydrates: 42g; Protein: 23g; Total Fat: 13.4g; Saturated Fat: 6.2g; Cholesterol: 33mg; Dietary Fiber: 10.3g; Total Sugars: 7.8g; Sodium: 422mg