Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Macaroni and Cheese

Well, I'll have to admit, this is the sneakiest I've gotten with a meal so far! Last night, we tried Macaroni and Cheese from the Deceptively Delicious cookbook. It has pureed butternut squash in it along with an assortment of dairy products. As I was making it, Cloe pointed at the squash and said, "I sure hope you're not planning on putting that in our mac and cheese!" When it was all done and ready to serve, I asked her if she would try it for mommy. She got the spoon up to her mouth and then suddenly paused and said, "No squash, right?" I didn't lie; I just didn't answer her directly. "Would mommy put squash in macaroni and cheese?" Hmmm....yes...shhhh! She took the bite and said, "Oooo, I love it. There's no squash in there!"
Now, I'm sharing this recipe, but if word gets out that my family ate squash in our macaroni and cheese, I'm done for! Cloe, very admittedly would be upset and Cody would probably feel a little betrayed as an avid "squash hater." So please do me this favor, keep it under wraps! We don't need anyone spilling the beans on our little project to get more veggies in them! As long as they don't see it, they'll just wonder at the flavor. Myself, I rather enjoyed the hearty, rich flavor of butternut mac and cheese! Hope you enjoy this!

Macaroni and Cheese
(I doubled the following recipe for our family, but did have a ton left over.)
1/2 box elbow macaroni (I used small shells)
1 T. olive oil
1 T. flour
1/2 c. skim milk
1/2 c. pureed butternut squash or cauliflower puree
1 1/2 c. shredded reduced fat Cheddar cheese
4 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. paprika
1/8 tsp. pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add macaroni, and cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain in a colander.

While the macaroni is cooking, coat a large saucepan with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add the oil, then the flour, and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture resembles a thick paste but has not browned, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the milk, and cook, stirring every now and then, until the mixture begins to thicken, 3-4 minutes. (this happened much faster for me) Add the vegetable puree, cheddar and cream cheese, and seasonings. Stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. Stir in macaroni and serve warm. (I did have to add probably an additional cup of milk to make it extra smooth and creamy.)

Remember, DON'T TELL!!!