I am an avid reader of Cooking Light magazine. I read it each month absorbing new ideas. It is pretty rare for me to precisely follow the recipes; the magazine is more of a source of inspiration for me. Almost a year ago Cooking Light did a feature on one of my favorite foods: macaroni and cheese. They presented several recipes for healthier mac and cheese, one of which involved adding butternut squash. I was intrigued since mac and cheese and butternut squash are two of my favorite foods. The idea was that the butternut squash would add a rich flavor and creaminess to the mac and cheese, without adding any fat. The recipe called for less cheese since blended squash is thick and creamy.
The Cooking Light recipe requires a lot of work. The beauty of mac and cheese is that it is quick, and it doesn’t require dirtying every dish in your kitchen. If you have 2 pots, 15 minutes, and some cheese, milk, flour, and pasta you are good to go. The Cooking Light recipe takes over an hour to make and involves pots, pans, a blender, and a skillet. That is a lot of time and a lot of dishes. It is much easier to make this dish when you happen to have leftover squash since it significantly cuts down on the preparation time. I also cut down on prep time by deciding not to blend my squash. I mashed it with a potato masher because washing a potato masher is easier than washing a blender.
Charles and I liked this mac and cheese. I will absolutely be making this again. When I make butternut squash I usually roast two, leaving me with leftovers. This is a new fun way to eat squash, and a lower fat way to make one of my favorite meals.
Total time: 15 minutes
You will need:
1 cup cooked Butternut Squash, diced
1 cup Skim Milk
1 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese
2 tablespoons Flour
1/2 box tubular Pasta
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Pepper
Put water on to boil and cook the pasta according to the directions on the box.
While the pasta cooks, whisk the milk and flour together in a saucepan over medium heat. Continue whisking until the mixture comes to a slow boil for one minute.
Add the cheese, salt, and pepper to the milk mixture. Once the cheese has melted add the squash. Use a potato masher to mix the squash into the cheese sauce. Heat over medium heat.
Stir the cooked pasta into the cheese sauce and serve.