Mac n’ cheese with a secret

Ever since moving to the IRI, I have found myself searching high and low for different ways of preparing meals and snacks for the kids. Sure, I miss the convenience of just running to a local Kroger and picking up a meal-in-a-box or fish sticks. But now that I have been forced into cooking and baking from scratch, I have to tell you it’s quite rewarding.

So the other day FZ was craving mac n’ cheese – the “orange” kind. Yeah, which kid doesn’t love the “orange” kid. Unfortunately for me and many other cheddar lovers, there is no cheddar cheese readily available here. I know, I know. My jaw dropped the first time, too. There is a nice alternative – gouda cheese slices. And most of us moms use that here to make the “orange” mac n’ cheese.

But I realized through my own experimentation, that adding carrot or butternut squash puree to the final mixture makes your mac n’ cheese, not only delicious, but nutritious. And in the words of my 6-year-old: “awesome.”

When I told FZ what was in her pasta, she looked at me funny and my husband told me now she wouldn’t eat it again. But she actually was surprised that a veggie could taste so yummy!

Mac n’ cheese with a secret
Serves: approximately 4 kids, or 2 kids and 1 hungry mom/dad

1. Boil 2 cups of your favorite pasta – usually shells or fusilli work best

2. Have a cup of carrot or butternut squash puree ready.

3. In a small pot, melt 2 tbsp. of butter. Once melted, add 3/4 cup of milk, 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese, 1 tbsp. of heavy cream, 2 tsp. of garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste.

4. Let cook on low heat until mixed thoroughly. Then add carrot or butternut squash puree and heat through.

5. Add cooked pasta to the sauce mixture.

6. Done! Goes great with homemade chicken or fish nuggets.

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