Thursday, November 7, 2013

Mac N Cheese

My boys love mac n cheese.  Heck -- I love mac n cheese.  Ask the husband, even though I have no taste for cheese anymore, there are nights all I want is the comfort of the gooey noodles, the sharp white cheddar taste, and bits of artichoke and spinach in every bite.

Are you drooling yet?

Thankfully, when the boys request mac n cheese, they're thinking of the orangey-yellow variety they sometimes get at Grammy's house.

I had this recipe, and this one, too, and we liked them both ok. They're perfectly fine substitutes when you're making it from scratch.  The Healthy Mac recipe didn't look right -- it was very tasty, but didn't taste at all like what the boys craved.  The Sweet Potato Mac was also just ok -- but in reality, if I want mashed sweet potatoes I don't want noodles in there messing it up.

So one day the boys wanted mac n cheese for lunch.  I started to whip up the cheese sauce and saw that I had a good sized sweet potato on the counter...hmmm...I don't need the whole sauce to be sweet potato, but just a little color and sweetness would be nice.  So here's what I came up with and I threw the other recipes out.  This is the only way the boys want to eat mac n cheese from now on -- and it even looks "cheesy" with all it's orange-yellow-ness!

Mac N Cheese
serves 4-6

  • 12-14 oz whole wheat macaroni
  • 1 cup almond milk -- unsweetened
  • 6 TBLS nutritional yeast
  • 1 1/2 TBLS flour
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 cups peeled and chopped sweet potato
  • salt and pepper to taste
--  Start by cooking your pasta according to the directions
-- Meanwhile, cook the sweet potato in the microwave for 5-8 minutes until soft
-- Meanwhile (again), whisk all other ingredients in a small sauce pan and heat over medium 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally and watching it thicken (although not too much, and don't let it boil!)
-- Once the sweet potato is done, carefully put the sweet potato chunks in with the milk and mash a little.  With a hand blender, puree until smooth. (If you don't have a hand blender, you can puree the sweet potatoes in a food processor with a little of the milk liquid and then transfer everything back to the pot).
-- When pasta is done, drain and mix with the creamy sauce until it coats each and every noodle.  Season with salt and pepper as desired!

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