Saturday, September 28, 2013

Skinny Butternut Squash Mac 'n Cheese

So this weekend I'm tending my friend's daughter.  She is so much fun and we have had a blast so far.  She is the same age as Marcus and they get along so well, and of course Astrid loves having another girl to play with all day.

The thing is, she isn't always super easy to feed.  Sometimes she eats what I make when she comes over and other times she will pick at it and turn up her nose.  But that's okay, she's five... I wanted to make this weekend go super smoothly, and so I decided to make a no fail macaroni and cheese recipe.  The good news, she ate the whole bowl!  The better news:  It has squash AND onions in it and no one under five was the wiser! ;)

I have recently been on a quest to eat healthier, and I know that this isn't the *most* healthy thing I could be eating, but it's better than blue-box yellow death and it's better than six cheese full of butter and white flour and cream.  So, here it is.  It makes a big 9" x 13" dish and one serving is 1/6 of it, enough for a big bowl!

  • 1 pkg small shells (I used regular this time, my store didn't have any whole wheat)
  • 2 1/2 cups milk (I used 1%)
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 onion, diced and sauteed til soft
  • 3 cloves garlic, sauteed with onion
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 package frozen cooked, pureed squash, thawed. (I just used the brick kind in a pinch, you can substitute canned, or roast/boil your own and puree it.)
  • 1 1/2 cup low fat Italian blend cheese
  • 1/3 cup Italian style breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup cheese for topping

1. In a large pot combine milk, water, Greek yogurt and noodles.  Bring to almost a boil and let the noodles cook.  Stir frequently so it does not burn.  When noodles are almost done, add in the sauteed onion and garlic.

2. Add in the cottage cheese and pureed butternut squash*.

(I normally would just heat and stop at this point, but with feeding three kids under five including one hit or miss eater, I decided to cheese it up a notch and bake)

3. So to cheese it up, add the Italian Blend cheese and mix.  Put in a 9" x 13" dish and top with breadcrumbs and 1/4 cup cheese.  Bake until browned, about 5-10 minutes.  Enjoy!

Nutrition Info 1/6 of a 9" x 13" baking dish:

*For the skinnier version:
389 calories, 4 g fat, 69 g carbohydrate, 17 g protein
  For the "Cheesed Up" skinny version:
466 calories, 8.2 g fat, 74 carbohydrate, 22 g protein Pin It

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