Lower-Cal Mac ‘n’ Cheese with…. Butternut Squash

As mentioned in a previous post, this past weekend I chopped up a butternut squash in preparation for a recipe to be made later this week.

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Tuesday was the day! You might be surprised to see how this turns out (Spoiler: If you read the title of this post). Tuesday after work I was quite happy that my butternut squash was already chopped because I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have had to patience to do this on a week night. I simmered the chopped squash with chicken broth (or veggie broth for vegetarians), garlic, and milk for 25 minutes.

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Once the squash was tender, I added the slightly cooled mixture to my blender, along with Greek yogurt, salt, and pepper, and blended until pureed! It turned a really lovely, cheesy and cheddar-y orange color, which you will see below, three pictures down.

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Into the pureed squash mixture went cheese! I spent a pretty penny on CHEESE for this meal, let me tell ya.

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Amazing cheeses added to the butternut squash mixture. These three cheeses are all rather bold, nutty, and salty, which allows you to use a smaller amount and still retain that cheesy flavor, while the squash adds that pretty orange color that is expected in a cheddar-y mac ‘n’ cheese. GENIUS, I tell ya!

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Once the cheese was melted into the squash mixture, I combined it with one pound of cooked pasta. I used odds and ends from my pantry, which ended up being about 2/3 pound elbow mac and 1/3 shells.

A finishing touch: toast panko bread crumb in EVOO in a skillet. Sprinkle over macaroni and cheese just prior to baking for 25 minutes.

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Twenty-five minutes later…. GORGEY!

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This flavor combo worked well! I detected only a mild, savory butternut squash flavor, and more so tasted the nutty, salty cheeses. The texture was creamy and delicious. Not quite as gooey as the full-caloried version, but still oh-so-delicious! This didn’t taste “light” to me, but it DID involve many steps (aka…lots of dirty dishes!). But worth it, I would say! Try this out.

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Above is a 390 calorie portion. Cooking Light claims that a classic mac ‘n’ cheese recipe has around 900 calories per serving, so this lightened-up version is easy on the waistline.

Then…after dinner, I did this!:

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Yay, 5 mile run. I must prepare for my 10k in October! I don’t really care how slow I am, I just want to run the whole thing (though, with some of the hills in the course, it may prove challenging). And staying under 11:00-minute miles would be good too!

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4 thoughts on “Lower-Cal Mac ‘n’ Cheese with…. Butternut Squash

  1. Pingback: Labor Day Done Right « Meg.Goes.Nom.Nom.

  2. Pingback: Top Dinner Recipes of 2011–Part II « Meg.Goes.Nom.Nom.

  3. Pingback: Look at my Macaroni | Meg.Goes.Nom.Nom.

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