Wednesday, October 12, 2016

FIXATE ~Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Sticking to a healthy diet does not have to mean living a life without mac and cheese! Fall is here and COMFORT FOOD is calling!! 
This recipe is even more delicious than I imagined. It has less than 300 calories per serving and 15 grams of protein! The recipe makes 10 servings, so it can feed a hungry family or make several servings for healthy meal prep.
This recipe boasts two types of cheese – yes, real cheese! – sharp cheddar and Gruyere. The secret is using extra-flavorful cheeses, so a little bit goes a long way. They blend with a silky butternut squash puree to create an intensely flavorful sauce. I added peppers, onions, and a sprinkling of parsley to make the dish even more tasty and nutritious.
Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
Total Time: 1 hr. 16 min.
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cooking Time: 61 min.
Yield: 10 servings, about 1½ cups each
Ingredients:
1 lb. dry whole wheat macaroni
1 tsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium red bell peppers, chopped
3 cups cubed butternut squash
1¾ cups low-sodium organic chicken broth
1 cup low-fat (1%) milk
2 Tbsp. low-fat (1%) plain Greek yogurt
1 cup shredded Gruyere (or Swiss) cheese
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Sea salt and ground black pepper (to taste; optional)
Nonstick cooking spray
Finely chopped fresh parsley (for garnish; optional)
Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
2. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
3. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
4. Add onion and bell peppers; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 6 minutes, or until onion is translucent. Set aside.
5. Combine squash, broth, and milk in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; gently boil for 22 to 25 minutes, or until squash is tender.
6. Place squash mixture in a blender or food processor; cover with lid and kitchen towel. Blend until smooth.
7. Combine squash mixture, macaroni, onion mixture, yogurt, and cheeses. Season with salt and pepper if desired; mix well.
8. Place macaroni mixture in a 13 x 9-inch ceramic or glass baking dish that has been coated with spray. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until sauce is bubbling.
9. Garnish with parsley if desired.
Tip: Blend small batches of hot liquids in blender or food processor since they expand during the blending process, therefore decreasing the chance of overflowing.
21 day Fix Serving 1 1/2 cup = 1/2 Green 2 Yellow 1 Blue 

 

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