Greetings Meals and Moves Readers!
I want to start off by thanking the lovely Janetha B for asking me to be a guest blogger! :)
My name is Allison, and I went from being an extremely unhealthy girl in her early twenties, to a fairly health conscious “lady” (for lack of a better term – wink wink) in her late twenties. Healthy eating is something I’ve gotten the hang of, and plan on continuing the rest of my life. When my husband proposed (then just the boyfriend) – I was 50 pounds heavier, and I realized I needed to get my life in order. Now I can happily say that things are. I’ve started my own blog to chronicle all the things I love – the two most important being food and a healthy lifestyle! Check it out at Green Dog Wine!
Today I wanted to share with you one of my favorite recipes – you may have seen it floating around before – but I haven’t posted is since last winter – so I thought this would be a perfect time to bring it back!
This recipe – when you eat it, you feel like you are being “naughty” – but it really is good for you! It’s slightly higher in calories than some dishes I make – but compared to the traditional way it’s prepared – it’s still way better for you! :)
Trick’em Mac & Cheese
This recipe was inspired by a dish I saw on Ellie Krieger’s Food Network show. I’ve made it my own, by swapping stuff out, and adding some of my favorite staples in! Here’s what you’ll need:
· cooking spray
· 1 box (16 ounces) whole wheat pasta, your favorite shape will do just fine!
· 2 packages (20 ounces) frozen pureed winter squash
· 2 cup(s) milk, skim
· 1 1/3 cups (4oz.) grated/shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
· 2/3 cup (2oz.) grated/shredded Monterey Jack cheese
· 1/2 cup fat free ricotta cheese
· Salt (recommended 1 tsp)
· Dry mustard (recommended 1 tsp)
· Cayenne pepper (recommended 1/8 tsp)
· Onion powder
· Garlic powder
· Chili powder
· Optional: Any veggies you want – like spinach, corn, peas, potatoes, tomatoes, beans, etc
Here’s a picture of all the main ingredients:
Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees, boiling a pot of water to cook the pasta in, and in another sauce pan – melting the 2 blocks of frozen pureed winter squash.
Cook the pasta according to package, and strain completely when it’s done cooking.
Once the squash has melted, add in all of the cheeses, the milk, and spices. I never measure the spices, I just add however much I feel is appropriate. I put “recommended” after some of the spices because that is what the original recipe called for. If you use Cayenne – BE CAREFUL – that stuff has a very powerful kick – which is fine by me :) But if you don’t like spicy things – be cautious!
After you’ve added all the remaining ingredients to the squash saucepan, and made sure everything has melted, add whatever veggies you like – here I only added spinach. I didn’t measure – just grabbed 2 big handfuls!
Combine squash/cheese/veggie mixture and cooked, strained pasta in a large bowl, or pot. Spray a 13.5×9 baking pan with cooking spray, and add the combined noodle mixture to the pan.
Bake for about 20 minutes – or just until you see the cheese start to bubble around the edges of the dish, remove from the oven – and ENJOY TRICK’EM MAC & CHEESE!
Here’s my dish – I drown everything I eat in hot sauce – you don’t have to follow suit, but if you do – it will be delicious! :)
I promise – NO ONE will know there is squash in there – unless they catch you making it. My warning to you on that: KEEP ALL SNEAKY HUSBANDS out of the kitchen! Mine caught me in the act of making it, and now refuses to eat it.
So while I can’t say the Trick’em Mac & Cheese worked on him – I have fooled others :) They are eating delicious mac and cheese, and I snuck some of their daily veggies in! :)