Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

This recipe was inspired by a Parents Magazine recipe.  The original one had chunks of butternut squash whereas mine has puree; it saves me time just having purees already made vs having to cook the chunks of squash when I make this.  That is how this recipe was born....

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups butternut squash puree (less if you want the squash taste less pronounced)
  • 1/2 lb elbow noodles of your choice
  • 2 tablespoons butter (we used butter alternative to decrease the dairy amount in here for dairy intolerant Little Asher)
  • 2 tablespoon flour or tapioca flour
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk (or reduced fat milk or other milk alternative)
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • dash of salt
  • dash of white pepper
  • 1 3/4 cups cheese (I used a mixture of part skim mozzarella and reduced fat cheddar--the high fat content is what bothers lactose intolerant folks; If I could do what I wanted I would use WHITE CHEDDAR)
Steps:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Grease a medium casserole dish.
  3. Cook the elbow noodles 2 minutes less than the box says.  Drain and place in a large bowl.
  4. Meanwhile, melt butter over low heat.
  5. Whisk in flour and cook for 2 minutes.
  6. Slowly whisk in milk.  Bring mixture to a boil, add nutmeg, salt and pepper, then simmer.  Cook for 3 minutes; stirring occasionally making sure the lumps mix out.
  7. Add cheese and squash and stir until cheese is melted.
  8. Stir cheese sauce into pasta and transfer to greased casserole dish.
  9. Bake for 10-15 minutes.
NOTE:  You can top this with turkey bacon crumbles or buttered crumbled wheat crackers or more cheese.  Get creative.  This time I tried buttered crumbed wheat crackers and it added a nice texture/

Difficulty:  2 out of 5; with the puree already made this was easy peasy!  I made it about an hour before I wanted to bake it, covered it in the oven and when it was almost time to eat I took the lid off and baked.  You could also make this during nap time or in the morning and refrigerate until ready to bake.  Increase the bake time if you refrigerate.

Timing:  I would give this to mine as early as 9 months depending on their chewing abilities.  Mine love finger foods so 9 months is good for mine---otherwise around 12 months is perfect!

Epicutie Rating (see left side of page for rating descriptions):
  • Little Joy:  Yummy in the tummy!  She loved the crunch--she's my one with a bit of a mature pallete.  She likes lots of flavors like her mommy.
  • Little Asher: Yummy in the tummy!  He does not have mac and cheese much because it is too much dairy but since there is not as much dairy to pasta with the squash in there, it is quite a treat!  He gobbled up two hardy helpings.

Step 6: Whisk in milk, nutmeg, salt and pepper with butter and flour

My Squash Puree

Noodles awaiting sauce

Shredded cheeses

Step 7:  Add cheese and squash to milk mixture


Before adding a topping

Topping added

YUMMMM

And its done!

Served with ham and steamed peas

Little Asher going in...

Hows it taste?

"MMMMM"

"Watch me mommy" says Little Joy

And all she says is CHEESE after it




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About the Authors

This blog was started by two Babywise pen pals to document our adventures in high chair manners, making our own baby food and doing our bests to raise happy, healthy, thriving little ones!

Epicutie #1

Epicutie #1

Little Joy at 2 years, Sept 2012

Epicutie #2

Epicutie #2
Little Frances

Epicutie #3

Epicutie #3
Little Asher at 11 months, Sept 2012

Epicutie #4

Epicutie #4
Little Elizabeth, July 2013
  • Yummy in the Tummy: Epicutie thoroughly enjoyed each bite
  • Somewhat yummy: Epicutie seemed to somewhat enjoy the food at first, but seemed to like it less with subsequent bites
  • Not so sure I like it...yet: Epicutie somewhat rejected the first bites, but seemed intrigued. The next exposure may be better!
  • Confused: Epicutie rejected the first bites, perhaps due to texture or strong flavor.
  • Sour Puss: Epicutie gave a sour face indicating she did not like the food. However--if at first you do not succeed, try, try again!

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