guest post! allison j.

by Janetha on October 4, 2009

in meals

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!

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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:

Ingredients

· 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:

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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! :)

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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!  :)

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

VeggieGirl October 4, 2009 at 12:26 pm

YAY ALLISON!!! My shopping buddy :-D

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Lindsay October 4, 2009 at 12:30 pm

Holy moly that stuff looks good! I’ll have to try this on my husband!

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inmytummy October 4, 2009 at 12:44 pm

I just had dinner with a friend who has a 1.5 year old. She said that her daughter’s new thing is refusing to eat veggies. I’m going to tell her about this recipe!

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runningaroundnormal October 4, 2009 at 1:03 pm

That looks amazing!!!

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Lizzy October 4, 2009 at 1:43 pm

mmmmm can’t wait to try out this recipe! Thanks girl!

http://saladdiva.wordpress.com

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Emily (The Experimentarian) October 4, 2009 at 2:00 pm

Hey allison, that looks way good! I’ve totes had mac n cheese on the brain lately. You should try the cauliflower mac from Real Simple. I will have to send you the recipe. xoxo

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Emily October 4, 2009 at 2:06 pm

aw, love the pic! and love the requisite dousing in hot sauce :)

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ksgoodeats October 4, 2009 at 3:28 pm

Ahhh in that picture it looks like Lando is smiling! I love it!!

I love your rendition of that mac & cheese! Anything that makes cheese and carbs a little bit healthier has GOT to be good :)

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The Foodie Diaries October 4, 2009 at 5:00 pm

That looks so good! I’m currently trying to master a healthified one-serving Easy Mac recipe. But once I’m done ODing on that, I will definitely try yours!

Sarah

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Deb (Smoothie Girl Eats Too) October 4, 2009 at 6:08 pm

Oh boy- that’s a great idea to use squash as a thickening base mmmm thanks!
D

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Jenny October 4, 2009 at 6:43 pm

great healthified version of the best comfort food in the world (besides ice cream, of course!)

thanks for the recipe, girl :)

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julie October 4, 2009 at 8:04 pm

what a GREAT recipe! thanks girl :)

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Katharina October 4, 2009 at 9:13 pm

Great post! Great idea! GRREAT RECIPE!! :D I’m checking out Allison’s blog now and I love it!

Hey Allison – you may want to check out this website for more tips on sneaking in veggies ;)

http://buyfromthebackyard.com.c1.previewmysite.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/50_ways_to_eat_more_produce.pdf

http://www.ohonemorething.wordpress.com

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Katharina October 4, 2009 at 9:23 pm

Great post! Great idea! GREEAT RECIPE!!!! I’m reading Allison’s blog now, and I love it :D And her doggy too!

p.s. Allision, you may want to check out this link for more sneaky ways to incorporate some veggies ;)

http://buyfromthebackyard.com.c1.previewmysite.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/50_ways_to_eat_more_produce.pdf

http://www.ohonemorething.wordpress.com

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Katharina October 4, 2009 at 9:25 pm

Great post! Great idea! GREAT RECIPE!! I’m reading Allison’s blog now and I love it :) and her doggy too

http://www.ohonemorething.wordpress.com

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Tiffany S. October 4, 2009 at 10:50 pm

Yummers! My husband loves squash so that’s not gonna be a problem. Polishing off the pan – now that’s another story!

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Amanda @ Panda Lunch October 5, 2009 at 8:46 am

What a great idea! I love the idea of sneaking in the squash!! YUM! Thanks for sharing! :)

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Holly (The Healthy Everythingtarian) October 5, 2009 at 9:31 am

ahhhh I love you girl! this mac n’ cheese looks amazin, and the fact there is squash in there makes me happy. love me my squash!

you are too cute and so is your doggy dog!

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