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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

{Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese with Broccoli and Spinach}

Growing up Mac and Cheese was one of my favorite foods.  

However I was pretty picky about my mac and cheese!  I wouldn't eat mac and cheese unless it came from the blue box (you know... the Kraft blue box... homemade just didn't cut it), there had to be peas and carrots mixed into the finished mac and cheese, and I had to have a little pile of the powder cheese mix on the side of my plate to dip my already cheesy noodles in!  Oh and I would never eat leftover mac and cheese... because that was just gross!  Yes, I was an odd odd child! 

However now a days I prefer homemade mac and cheese to boxed mac and cheese and I no longer need a pile of powdered cheese to dip my noodles in... But I do still want my mac and cheese loaded with veggies which is why I love this Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese with Broccoli and Spinach! 

This mac and cheese is so flavorful and creamy and just darn delicious!  You won't even taste the squash!  Trust me my squash hating husband even gobbled this mac and cheese down and said he would even eat it again, that's a winner of a dish!  And if I haven't given you enough reason to make this awesome mac and cheese here is another reason... You make the whole dish start to finish in the same pot!  Have I convinced you? 

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese with Broccoli and Spinach 
Serves 6

Cooking Spray 
10 Oz. Pureed Butternut Squash ( I bought frozen Archer Farms Squash and pureed it myself)
1 Cup Almond Milk 
2 Cups Chicken Broth 
10 Oz. Elbow Macaroni Whole Wheat Pasta - Uncooked 
3 Cups Broccoli Florets 
2 Cups Spinach 
3 Garlic Cloves 
1/4 Cup Onion Chopped 
5 oz. Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese 
1/2 Teaspoon Salt 
1 Teaspoon Pepper 
1/2 Teaspoon Cumin 

Serve with additional cheese and sriracha if you like! 

1- Heat a large skillet coated with cooking spray ( I used a small cast iron Le Crusest Dutch oven) add onions and cook until tender, add garlic and cook until fragrant. 
2- Carefully stir in butternut squash puree, almond milk and chicken broth. Stir occasionally. 
3- Once squash mixture is boiling add in your uncooked elbow macaroni.  Cover the pot and reduce heat.  Simmer for 5 minutes occasionally stirring.  Stir in your broccoli and cover and cook an additional 3 minutes or until sauce has thickened and pasta has cooked. 
4- Carefully stir in 4 oz of cheese, spinach, salt and pepper into macaroni allowing the heat of the pasta to wilt the spinach.  Top with remaining cheese and serve! 


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