So, I've been working on this top secret recipe right here for a while now. And I say that it's top secret because if my little girl knew what was in it, she would instantly turn her nose up at it. I've made a handful of mac-and-cheese recipes in the past. Some were good. Others were terrible. None of them were what I could consider a viable option to really sneak past my six year old and pass off as plain jane macaroni and cheese.
Like I said, it's been a work in progress. That is... until today. (Well, actually it was last week that I had the initial success and knew that the recipe was ready to share.) Today I got my little mac-and-cheese aficionado to eat her macaroni and a good heaping serving of vegetables hidden along inside it. Don't worry though, this mac-and-cheese is so creamy rich and perfectly saucy that you will never guess there's veggies tucked away in it.
Sneaky, sneaky, mac-and-cheesy!
To make this sneaky macaroni I've loaded it up with cauliflower, butternut squash, carrots, and just the right amount of cheese to give you the creamy smooth sauce you desire and none of the guilt. Unless you feel guilty for sneaking those vegetables in there, of course. This is a saucy macaroni and cheese too. It just screams decadence.
Now, you can make this macaroni traditionally or add in some green veggies for those accepting of them. Me? I like to add in steamed broccoli or baby spinach when it's just me because I love the added color and greens to my diet. But, you definitely don't have to do either since there's already plenty of vegetables in here to begin with.
I've come to the conclusion that being sneaky is just a part of being a parent. It's how the world works. Sometimes you just have to pull one over on your kiddos if they're extra super picky eaters; which mine is. So, I don't feel guilty about it. Not one bit.
Can't you remember your parents doing the same? Attempting to sneak foods in when and where they could to give you a more balanced diet.
Healthy Macaroni & Cheese
Servings: 6 • Size: About 1 1/2 Cup • Calories: 293.3 • Fat: 6.1 g • Saturated Fat: 3.8 • Carb: 50.3 g • Fiber: 7 g • Protein: 10.8 g • Sugar: 2.1 g • Sodium: 190.9 mg
12 Oz. Whole Wheat Pasta
1 C. Butternut Squash, Cubed
1 C. Cauliflower Florets
2 Carrots, Peeled & Sliced
3/4 C. Water
1/2 C Reduced Fat Shredded Cheddar Cheese
4 Oz. Neufachatel (1/3 Less Fat Cream Cheese)
1/4 C. Fat Free Milk
Salt & Pepper to Taste
Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
While the pasta is cooking, steam the 1 C. Butternut Squash, 1 C. Cauliflower Florets, and 2 Carrots for 5-7 minutes until tender.
Add the steamed veggies to a blender or food processor (or use an imersion blender) and puree with 3/4 C. water, 1/2 C. Reduced Fat Shredded Cheddar Cheese, 4 Oz. Neufachatel, and 1/4 C. Fat Free Milk.
Once the pasta is done, strain it and add it to the pot with the cheese sauce mixture.
Serve right away and enjoy!