Masterful Mac 'n' Cheese

Recipe from from The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids' Favorite Meals via Borders Recipe File. This is a nutritionally enhanced version of a delicious recipe from Finland. The cauliflower/zucchini puree melts away in the familiar creaminess of the cheese. Start at ¼ cup of the White Puree in this recipe and gradually increase it to ½ cup over time. The crunchy topping adds a good dose of whole grains. Two large eggs may be added for an additional boost.

Yield: 4 servings ( Serving Size: to 6 servings )
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Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound(s) macaroni (preferably whole wheat blend)
  • 1-1/2 cup(s) milk
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup(s) White Puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 2 cup(s) grated low-fat colby or cheddar cheese
  • Crunchy Topping Variation:
  • 1 cup(s) whole grain cereal flakes (like Wheaties or Total)
  • 1/4 cup(s) wheat germ, unsweetened
  • 2 tablespoon(s) grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoon(s) butter, diced into small pieces
  • White Puree:
  • 2 cup(s) cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 small to medium zucchini, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon(s) fresh lemon juice
  • 3 to 4 tablespoon(s) water, if necessary

Preparation

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan.
  2. 2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook according to the package directions, until firm and slightly undercooked. Drain and set aside.
  3. 3. In a large bowl, whisk the milk with the White Puree and salt. (If using eggs, whisk them in with the milk mixture.) 4. Put half of the macaroni into the baking pan and top with half the cheddar (or colby) cheese. Next, layer with the rest of the macaroni, and then pour the milk mixture over the top, finishing with the last of the cheese on top. 5. To make the topping: Using a rolling pin, gently crush cereal (in a sealed plastic plastic bag) to coarsely crushed flakes or quickly pulse the cereal in a food processor. Add wheat germ and Parmesan to the bag and shake to mix. 6. Sprinkle crumb mixture on top of macaroni and cheese and dot with butter. 7. Bake casserole 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden and bubbling. To make the White Puree: Steam cauliflower in a vegetable steamer over 2 inches of water, using a tightly-covered pot, for about 10 to 12 minutes until very tender OR place cauliflower in a microwave-safe bowl, cover with water, and microwave on high for 8 to 10 minutes until very tender.
  4. While waiting for the cauliflower to finish steaming, start to pulse the raw peeled zucchini with the lemon juice only (no water at this point). Drain the cooked cauliflower. Working in batches if necessary, add it to the pulsed zucchini in the bowl of the food processor with two tablespoons of water. Puree on high until smooth. Stop occasionally and push contents from the top to the bottom. If necessary, add the rest of the water to make a smooth puree.
  5. Makes about 2 cups of puree. Double recipe if you want to store even more, which can be done in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze ¼ cup portions in sealed plastic bags or the small plastic containers.


June 2011

This recipe is a personal recipe added by psfreeman and has not been tested or endorsed by MyRecipes.

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