This simple, clean version of mac and cheese is quick and easy AND gets a veggie into your kiddos. Win – win – win. Now, before you tell me your kids won’t eat this, you’ve got to understand that you don’t go from the blue box of Kraft…..to this. That’s not even fair. Who can compete with the MSG and artificial flavors that have hijacked your kids’ taste buds? The more processed foods they eat, the less palatable wholesome foods will be.This is something you can transition toward.
1. Start with buying a slightly healthier version of the boxed brand – something like Annie’s.
2. Make your own (traditional) homemade version. Food you make from scratch is going to be healthier than the store bought version (you’re not adding MSG and yellow dye, right?)
3. Try different noodles to get them used to a different texture. In the recipe below, I use chickpea noodles, which offer a little bit of protein.
4. Once you make the clean version, serve it with meat and a veggie like broccoli. That way, it’s not the most offensive food on the plate and they’re more likely to try it.
4-INGREDIENT CLEAN MAC n CHEESE
1 cup cooked butternut squash (you can use fresh or frozen – this package has a little over a cup and I just used the whole thing)
1 T melted grass-fed butter (like Kerrygold or Organic Valley)
1 cup grated grass-fed cheese (I can get the Kerrygold at Sam’s and that is typically what I use, but this Organic Valley brand is good too).
1 box cooked and drained elbow pasta
Blend the squash and butter together using a blender or immersion blender until smooth. Stir into the pasta. Stir the cheese into the pasta. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve it up!
To make this a casserole: simply add 1/2 – 1 lb cooked ground beef into the pasta mixture. Sprinkle an extra cup of cheese on top and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.
Serve with a side of veggies and call it a meal!