Healthy and Kid Friendly Mac ‘N’ Cheese
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Top Secret Mac 'N' Cheese Recipe:
- 1 1/2 cups butternut squash, peeled and chopped into cubes
- 1/2 large sweet onion, peeled and chopped
- 16 oz package small macaroni noodles, cooked according to package directions (use gluten free noodles, if desired)
- 1/4 cup reserved cooking liquid (from the squash/onion or the noodles...either one will work)
- 1/4 cup raw cashews, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/8 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/8 tsp turmeric
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- Add butternut squash and onions to a pot and cover with water by at least an inch or two. Bring to a boil, turn down heat to medium and simmer until vegetables are tender.
- Meanwhile, cook macaroni noodles according to package directions. Reserve 1/4 cup cooking liquid once noodles are done cooking and before draining. Place noodles back in pot and set aside.
- When squash and onions are tender, drain (reserving 1/4 cup liquid - unless you are reserving the liquid from the noodles), and add them to a high speed blender with the cashews, lemon juice, salt, dijon, garlic powder, black pepper, smoked paprika, turmeric, nutmeg and reserved cooking liquid from either the noodles or the squash. Blend until completely smooth. Use a tamper if necessary to push ingredients to the bottom of the blender.
- Add butternut squash sauce to the macaroni noodles and stir, making sure every noodle is covered in sauce. Warm through if needed.
- Dig in!
The Doctors are always looking for ways to eat healthier and we have a mac ‘n’ cheese recipe that is good for you and your kids will love it too!
We are joined by food blogger Jenn Sebestyen from the Veggie Inspired Journey blog, who shares her mac ‘n’ cheese recipe that is loaded with great secret ingredients like butternut squash and cashews.
“My kids love mac ‘n’ cheese. They happen to be partial to the store-bought kind in the blue box… I really wanted to find something that was healthier, that I could feel good about serving them, packed with veggies, with real whole food ingredients,” she shares. “And when we first tried this, I did not tell them what it was… they sat down and they ate it and they loved it. They asked for seconds.”
ER physician Dr. Travis Stork samples the veggie-filled dish and says, “I’m a kid at heart and I give it 2 thumbs up.”
But what do real kids think? The Doctors brought in 6-year-old Marley, 5-year-old Sofia, and 5-year-old James. Find out what our tiny taste testers thought of the dish when they rate it “yummy” or “yuck” in the video above!