Friday, November 12, 2010

Squashed mac and cheese

Another short post up ahead. I've been getting some requests for the mac and cheese recipe I alluded to in my previous short post. And I can completely understand why: I've always been a fan of hiding vegetables inside junk food. It makes you (or the very least me) feel less guilty to be gorging on mac and cheese when you've squashed some dietary fiber and potassium in there. Also, it's nearly impossible to avoid squash at the farmer's market right now. A friend sent me this recipe, but I'm transcribing it below with my changes. Mostly I just left out things I didn't have at the time. And I didn't use whole wheat pasta because really isn't the squash healthy enough?

Squashed Mac

500 g organic macaroni or other pasta (I used shells)

One small onion diced

¼ cup butter, softened

3 Tablespoons flour

3 cups organic whole milk

½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 1/3 cups butternut squash puree (about one squash peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces--simmered with water for 10 minutes, drained, and mashed)

2 cups grated cheese (I used a combination of extra sharp cheddar, Parmesan, and Jarlsberg--I think as long as you have some sort of Swiss in there, it'll be delicious)

Salt & pepper to taste


1/3 cup Panko or plain breadcrumbs (I used the latter)

1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated, not powdered

2 Tablespoons unsweetened coconut, shredded (I was a little concerned about the coconut, but it turned out great!)


Boil the pasta according to package directions, taking it out a minute or two early so that's it's slightly al dente. Drain and set aside.

For the sauce:

In the same pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, stir to coat and cook gently for about five minutes.

Sprinkle flour over the onions and stir well. Slowly add milk, whisking well. Cook for a few minutes, stirring often until mixture thickens slightly.

Add squash puree and mix well. Add cheese, a few handfuls at a time, stirring continually. Once all the cheese has been added and melted, stir in Dijon, and season sauce with salt and pepper. Set aside.

For the topping:

Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan and breadcrumbs in a bowl. Set aside.

To assemble:

Combine cheese sauce and cooked egg noodles together until noodles are well coated. Put mixture into a large casserole dish.

Top with bread crumb topping. Bake at 375F for about 20 minutes or until bubbly around the edges. Serve and enjoy your delicious (slightly healthier) mac and cheese!

Also, here's another cheesy, starchy vegetable (or fungus, I guess) recipe. I made this deliciousness last night. I'm not going to transcribe this one because I actually followed the recipe perfectly. Those who remember me from my Vegetables Are Friends days will know that I was not always so big a fan of mushrooms, but put enough cheese in something and you can make it taste good. A good lesson for us all.


  1. Sounds sinfully (high fat) good! I wonder how it would be if you didn't use whole milk and cut the cheese a little? Probably not as good...
    I recommend micro-waving squash for those who have a microwave. You just cut it in half, removed seeds and put waxed paper over it. Takes about 5 minutes -- of course time depends on size. Then scoop it out.

    I don't know if you've tried Panko, but it's really neat - crispy.

  2. I have tried panko, but all I had on me were regular bread crumbs. Also, there are so many things that are easier when you own a microwave; I should probably break down and get one of those.

  3. Yummy! I think I will have to try this! Looks too good!

  4. i got very hungry reading this post!