Sunday, January 29, 2012

Meatless Monday... Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese

This Mac and Cheese has an amazing, sweet yet slightly nutty flavor to it and is very satisfying.  It has the flavor of a comfort food without being overly full or feeling guilty.  The secret here is pureed butternut squash, but don't let that fool you. Beyond the high nutrition value of the squash, this dish has amazing flavor! By substituting part of the cheese for butternut squash you cut the amount of fat and calories by half. You also add a hefty serving of beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant.

It can be served as a main course or as a side dish, depending on the meal. I served mine with sauteed beat greens, sweet onions, and diced apples and they complemented each other so well! 
Butternut Squash: Butternut squash is a winter squash and a great source of vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates. Bake it, add it to pasta or baking, or to homemade soups to reap all of the amazing benefits!

Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese
Serves 8

1 small butternut squash
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/8 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp Smart Balance Light
1/2 package whole wheat pasta
1/2 cup skim milk
1 1/2 cups Cabot Sharp Cheddar
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Pepper, to taste

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350. Cut the butternut squash in half, lenthwise. Remove the seeds. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake for 45 minutes, or until tender. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Place in a food processor or blender and blend with the Smart Balance, until smooth.

Cook the pasta as directed. Drain the pasta and add the butter, milk, and cheese and stir until the cheese is melted. Add the squash and stir until combined.

Spray a 8x11 casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Pour the pasta in the dish and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden. Serve hot.

Nutrition Facts: 3/4 cup
Nutrition Facts

Serving Size  ( 141 g )

Amount Per Serving

Calories  242 Calories from Fat 115

% Daily Value *

Total Fat  13g

Saturated Fat  7g

Trans Fat  0g

Cholesterol  30mg

Sodium  218mg

Total Carbohydrates  

Dietary Fiber  4g

Sugars  2g

Protein  11g

Vitamin A  67%
Vitamin C  14%

Calcium  26%
Iron  7%

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