“A healthy outside starts from the inside”
Let’s face it, we all want to be healthier (especially with summer around the corner). But I’m sure you as a food lover will know the struggle with wanting to devour all these delicious foods and staying healthy at the same time. Well, I’m about to share with you, my friend, a recipe that embodies the best of both worlds! A “mac and cheese” that won’t make you feel like absolute crap afterward.
Now to introduce the star of this dish *drum roll* Butternut squash! Affordable, delicious, available almost all year round, and very versatile! Did you know, the butternut squash originated in Waltham, Massachusetts? Although, a woman by the name of Dorothy Leggett claims her husband actually developed the beauty in Stow, Massachusetts where he then introduced it to the researchers at the Waltham Field Station. Whoever it was, thank you!
Now, I “butternut” claim that this tastes exactly like the mac and cheese we all know and love. But it’s SO tasty you won’t even care.
And can we not pretend we didn’t just notice how great that pun was? LOL.
I’ve had the pleasure of making this dish a few times now, and I’ve tinkered with it a little bit and I believe I finally have the best version of it. Now, to keep it really healthy, you can completely omit the cheese aspect of this and just leave it as is. In my opinion, it works fine on its own and is just as delicious.
The best part of this dish is how easy it is to make. Seeing as it’s getting warmer here, I haven’t really felt like spending too much time around a hot stove. All you need is a blender and a pot! Or if you have a hand blender, you only need a pot! Whaaaaat! Yes. It’s true.
I was shopping for the star of this dish at the local fruit & veg market and found the butternut squashes to be half the size of the ones in Canada. I would have needed to get 2 to have enough for the sauce so I turned to the good Ol’ carrot! Best decision ever. Not only did I not need to get 2 butternut squashes for €2, I got a butternut squash, a bag of carrots and a zucchini (why not) for the same cost. That’s a win in my eyes! Haha, maybe I’m just too easily elated.
It’s not the *prettiest* of dishes but who cares as long as it’s delicious am I right?! Anyways, let’s jump into the recipe because I’m eyeing the leftovers right now LOL!
NO guilt mac & cheese
What you’ll need:
– 1 butternut squash, diced (on the small side is fine)
– 3 large carrots, diced
– 3 cloves of garlic (I roasted mine in the oven for about 30 minutes)
– 1 onion, diced
– 1/4 cup of Low-fat milk or a plant based milk like almond or soy
– Cheese of your choice (I used Gouda but you could use cheddar or mozzarella. OR omit it all together)
– 1 Vegetable stock cube
– Pasta (I used penne)
– Salt & pepper to taste
– A “dash” of paprika
How to make it:
1. Bring a pot of salted boiling water to a boil.
2. Prepare the butternut squash, carrots, and onions by peeling, deseeding and roughly chopping up into small pieces.
3. Then, peel 3 cloves of garlic and wrap them in foil and place them in the oven at about 180 degrees for just 30 minutes.
4. While we wait for the garlic, add the veggies and onion to a big pot and add just enough water to cover. Turn to medium-high heat and let it come to a boil.
5. Once it’s at a boil, crumble in the stock cube and let it continue cooking until it’s fork tender.
6. At this point, you can dump the pasta in the other pot of salted boiling water and cook according to the directions on the packet.
7. Once the veggies are fork tender, transfer the contents of the pot into the blender along with the roasted garlic and milk. If you have a smaller blender, you might have to do it in batches.
8. Once it’s all smooth and nicely blended, add it back to the pot and turn the heat to a low-medium. Season with paprika and salt & pepper.
9. You don’t have to let it come to a boil. When you see it start to simmer turn the heat off. Immediately grate in the cheese (if using) and stir it in until it melts.
10. Add pasta into the pot and mix until well coated
I hope you enjoyed this recipe, and I’d love to know if you tried it out! Thank you for reading and I’ll catch up with you guys again soon. Please subscribe, comment and like because that would be amazing! Also, if you have a blog yourself, definitely comment down below as I’d love to check it out!
The chatty foodie,
over & out