Martha Mondays: Healthy Mac and Cheese

Thanks to Robyn at Robyn’s Nest for today’s pick, healthy mac and cheese.  I was intrigued by this recipe and as soon as I read it, I knew that my friend Ward at Sensei Cooks would love it. Ward has a 6 yr old son named Dylan who loves mac and cheese and Ward routinely sneaks things into it. So this would be perfect for you, Ward!

To make this recipe, you cook butternut squash in milk and chicken broth and then mash it. Boil your noodles and mix the mashed squash, cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, ricotta, nutmeg, salt, and pepper into it. Top with bread crumbs and cheese and bake.

It looks like mac and cheese but doesn’t taste the same. It’s not very cheesy at all and the squash flavor dominates. I did not tell the family what this was – just that it was mac and cheese. Mr. MarthaAndMe said he liked it. Dude Martha said it was ok. Teen Martha said “this is weird” and knew something was up. She is the family mac and cheese connossieur. Once I fessed up what was in it, she pushed it away and wanted no part of it. The other two family members weren’t horrifed.

This recipe made a LOT. So I’m freezing a bunch and hoping it reheats ok. As for me, I thought it was ok, but it wasn’t mac and cheese. It was a squash/pasta dish. I don’t think I would make this again, although we will definitely eat up the leftovers. And I might cheat and put a little more cheese on it when I heat it up!

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9 Responses to Martha Mondays: Healthy Mac and Cheese

  1. Not sure I would’ve like this either 😦 Your daughter’s comment of “this is weird” made me laugh. I’m gonna check the Martha Mondays Schedule now so I can participate this month 🙂

  2. We found it to be very dry and didn’t eat all of ours. My results are up: http://www.perfectingpru.wordpress.com.

  3. marthaandme says:

    Yes, please do! I’ll be posting the assignment for next week tomorrow.

  4. Lyndsey says:

    That’s funny. I just posted mine and was checking out to make sure my links worked and read yours. Funny, I said the same thing about this being a good squash pasta dish, but not a mac and cheese.

    Pru I thought it looked a little dry too, so I did add a little more cheese and liquid before I baked it. Next time maybe I’ll add a little butter 🙂

  5. marthaandme says:

    I guess everyone agrees on this one!

  6. Belle says:

    Dylan recently had a friend over who confessed he didn’t really like our “special very creamy mac cheese” because it was too sweet 🙂 But so far Dylan’s been okay with the special ingredient, although he did ask the other day if Daddy could make it without the special ingredient!

  7. Kerry says:

    I think more cheese would do the trick, perhaps a sharper cheddar or a stronger flavoured cheese. one of my favourite pizzas (they also serve it as a rice dish) is butternut squash topped with caramelized onion, goat cheese, and asiago, at Veggie Planet in Cambridge. the squash is the main ingredient, just enough cheese to give it interest and brightness. so I think with a little adjustment, maybe even Teen Martha would go for it.

  8. marthaandme says:

    I heated some up for lunch with extra sharp cheddar cheese on it and it seemed that the cheese just got lost. I think maybe it needs less squash to start with. I agree that a bright cheese can only help.

  9. Sheryl Kraft says:

    Sad realization – but me thinks there is NO fooling those mac and cheese experts! My son would push it away, too 🙂

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