I was reading our Sunday paper a few weeks ago & came across a recipe for ~ Creamy Macaroni & Four Cheeses ~ that used frozen cooked winter squash to cut some of the calories & give the dish a hearty boost of veggies. It sounded interesting & I thought it would be a good recipe to try for Meatless Monday.
I did doctor the original recipe up a bit, you know me, I just can't help myself. :) To the original recipe I included some extra ~ Worcestershire sauce; onion powder & garlic powder. The winter squash really surprised me, it truly had the color of one of those packets of 'powdered cheddar cheese' & it helped to give the mac and cheese the traditional 'Kraft Macaroni & Cheese' day-glo orange color we all know & (some) love. The winter squash changed the texture of the final dish somewhat, but I didn't mind it. I do think the cheese/winter squash combo has some real potential for other recipes...
All in all, this made for an interesting & tasty meal that could be either a main dish or a side dish. It's not a dead-ringer for the tradition stuff ~ but it does have a good amount of cheese in it & it has the right look about it. When I served it to my son without telling him about the abundant veggie hiding in plain sight, he ate about half of his big bowl before he came to me & said something was different about his mac and cheese. I fessed up, he said 'Oh.' and then he finished his bowl. This recipe makes A LOT of mac and cheese, so unless you have an army to feed, a die-hard healthy-version mac & cheese lover or are looking to have A LOT of leftovers ~ I'd suggest cutting the recipe in half. Now that autumn's cooler weather is here, it's the perfect time to try this healthier version of the traditional family favorite ~ Macaroni & Cheese, but this time with a leaner, veggie-packed spin.
|Come see more dinner ideas over on the Meatless Monday site...|