Mac ‘n cheese is a staple in our house because it’s so cheap to make, but it can really pack on the pounds. If you like mac ‘n cheese but don’t like what it does to your figure, try Cloris’s Guilt-free Mac ‘n Cheese recipe. -- AP
GUILT-FREE MAC ‘N CHEESE
non-stick cooking spray
1 lb. box macaroni
2 10-oz. packages frozen pureed winter squash
2 cups skim milk
4 oz. low-fat cheddar, grated
4 oz. low-fat Monterey jack, grated
1/2 cup part skim ricotta cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried mustard
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 cup frozen peas (optional)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup unseasoned whole wheat bread crumbs
3 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat over to 375 degrees. Coat 9” x 13” baking pan with cooking spray. Cook macaroni in boiling water until al dente. Drain water. Place macaroni in a large bowl.
Place frozen squash and milk in large saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring continuously until squash and milk are blended and simmering. Remove from heat. Stir in cheddar, Monterey jack, ricotta, salt, mustard, paprika, and peas. Pour over macaroni and stir to mix.
Pour into baking dish. Combine parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, and olive oil. Pour over macaroni and cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, then broil until top is brown.
Here’s a hint for kids who refuse to eat anything green. Leave out the peas. They’ll never know they’re eating squash! Have you ever disguised veggies in dishes? Let's hear from you. You could win a book from our Book Club Friday guest author. -- AP