Saturday, September 4, 2010

Acorn Macaroni and Cheese


Challenge- Make something you would normally make for your children but make it with hidden vegetables or fruit.  

 I choose to make not only my little girl's favorite, but my childhood favorite as well. I think I'm about to throw out boxed Macaroni and Cheese since making this. This idea came from mixing two recipes together plus adding and changing 3 ingredients that I have found to be essential. Enjoy!  

Fast and Easy Acorn Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 1 med Acorn Squash or up to 2 cups of pureed Acorn Squash

  • 2 cups of uncooked Macaroni Pasta (More or less depending on how much sauce you like)
*For a healthier choice, I choose Whole Wheat, Semolina, or Durum Wheat Pasta.

  • 1/2 cup of Chicken broth

  • (or 1/2 cup of warm water mixed with a teaspoon of Chicken Soup Base)

  • 2 Tablespoons of Grape seed Oil, Unsalted Butter, or Canola oil.

  • 1- 2 Tablespoons of Wheat Flour

  • 1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmesan or Asiago Cheese (or both)

  • 1/2 cup or more of additional grated cheeses (I like a mix of Sharp Cheddar and Monterey) 
* You'll find that the squash takes in the cheese flavor so you really don't need to much cheese

  • Milk- add as needed (vary much needed to make it creamy and not as thick)


Get a head start with this recipe and when the kids come home from school, you'll be able to whip of their favorite dish in the same amount of time as boxed Macaroni and Cheese. 

Bake an acorn squash, cleaned and cut in 2 halves upside down in with a few teaspoons of water in a 400 degree oven for 45 min to 1 hour. It should mash right when you touch it. Scoop it into your blender of choice and puree with Chicken Broth (up to 1/2 cup).

 10 minutes before squash is done, cook you Macaroni Pasta.
* For a healthier choice, I choose Whole Wheat, Semolina, or Durum Wheat Pasta.
  
 It should look like the texture of apple sauce when finished.

To make the roux: Mix wheat flour with oil or butter until well mixed and bubbling. Add pureed Squash mixture and Shredded cheeses.  


Add Cheese Sauce to cooked noodles and mix together. If texture is thicker than you like, add a little milk.

Other Vegetables I've tried:
Carrots
(I could really taste the carrots)
Butternut Squash
(Sweeter and nuttier)
Pumpkin
(I could really taste the pumpkin, but it seemed sweet like the Butternut Squash)
Spaghetti Squash
(Good but the texture gets stringy or very thick)
Cauliflower
(It wasn't bad)
Acorn Squash was the winner!
The acorn squash had the best flavor, creamy texture, and the squash seemed to hide better than all the others I mentioned above.
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1 comment:

Nichole said...

That looks great! I have made mac and cheese with acorn squash in the past, i should try it now and see if Gavin would eat it.

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