Better-for-You Mac-n-Cheese

inspired meals side dishes Dec 13, 2021

I don’t know about you, but every so often I get a mean craving for mac-n-cheese. Of course I could just grab a box of Kraft or Stouffer's frozen mac-n-cheese, but my body deserves better than that...and yours does too! 

Remember last week when I talked about reverence? Well, here's where it comes into play. To refresh your memory:

As a noun, reverence means: a deep respect for someone or something

As a verb: to regard or treat with deep respect


When you begin to see your body as a temple, something to be respected, you feel compelled to feed it more life-giving food...not because you have to, but because you want to. Dedicating 30 minutes of your day to preparing a nutritious meal isn't seen as a chore, but rather a gift to your precious body.


This homemade mac-n-cheese recipe has a couple of unique twists:

  1. First, I chose bean-based chickpea pasta because of its rich fiber and protein content. This is an especially good choice for those wanting to adopt a more heart-healthy diet.
  2. Second, this recipe cuts the cheese (ha, ha) in half and in its place, uses butternut squash. Way to sneak in the veggies!


The best way to enjoy mac-n-cheese is alongside veggies, like roasted broccoli and then add a little protein, like a few ounces of chicken or fish. That's what I did here:


Better-for-You Mac-n-Cheese

Prep time: 10  minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups Banza chickpea pasta shells or elbows, prepared according to package instructions
  • 1 tbsp. Kerrygold butter
  • 1 cup red onion, sliced thin
  • 5 cups organic chicken broth
  • 5 cups butternut squash, cubed (about one small); to save time, purchase fresh peeled and cubed butternut squash or frozen butternut squash
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened nut milk (almond, coconut, cashew, macadamia nut are all good choices)
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 2/3 cup cheese (I like goat or feta cheese, but use what you like)
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat butter in skillet on low to medium heat and add onions. Saute for 10-15 minutes until fragrant and brown.

  2. While onions are cooking bring broth to a boil in a large pot and add squash. Cook for 7 minutes, stirring frequently.

  3. Drain squash, reserving 1/2 cup of broth. Add squash, reserved broth, milk, sea salt and cooked onions to a blender or food processor and process until smooth.

  4. Pour sauce over pasta, stirring to coat. This recipe makes a bit more sauce than you will need. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for later in the week.

  5. Stir in cheese and mix until melted throughout. Season with salt and pepper to taste!

 

 

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