Comfort Food: Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese

Exams are finally over and the grades are in! I can finally catch a break for the next few weeks! Somehow, my hardest and busiest semester turned into my best semester grade wise! It has been an adjustment the past few days realizing there is nothing I HAVE to do, it’s really weird for me. I think I am finally settling into “relaxing” mode, which for me means baking cookies, eating good food, reading books I actually want to read, hanging out with friends and family, and working out. The extra sleep in the mornings has been nice too 🙂

Finals week brought lots of cravings for comfort food….. Not only were we all stressed, it was by far the coldest week we have had! I couldn’t feel my face after walking to work! I tried to not give in to all of the cravings, but I can guarantee you a few cookies and pieces of caramel apple cake were consumed (and VERY much enjoyed). Here is one recipe I used to try and make some of these cravings a little healthier. Its Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese. My mom found it a few years ago and it has been changed to make it a little less fattening. You don’t even miss the plethora of cheeses AND you get a serving of veggies!

 

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese! YUM!

Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese

3 cups butternut squash, peeled, cubed

1 cup low sodium chicken broth

1 1/2 cups evaporated milk

3/4 tsp salt

Ground black pepper to taste

1 lb pasta (whatever you prefer for you macaroni, elbows, shells, etc)

1 cup grater chedder cheese

1/2 cup fat free ricotta cheese

4 tbsp Parmesan cheese

2 tbsp breadcrumbs

1 tsp olive oil

Directions: Preheat oven 375

Combine squash, chicken broth, and evaporated milk in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer until squash is tender (about 20-30 min).

 

Squash cooking

Remove from heat and mash squash mixture. (I used a blender, and it worked great!) Stir in salt and pepper.

 

Mashing it all up!

While squash is cooking, prepare pasta and drain. Transfer to large bowl and stir in mashed squash, chedder, ricotta, and 2 tbsp Parmesan. Prepare  13×9 baking dish or pan with cooking spray. Poor noodle mixture into prepared pan.

 

This was the perfect shape to trap all the creaminess in!

Combine breadcrumbs, remaining 2 tbsp parmesan and oil in a small bowl. Poor evenly over noodles.

 

All ready for the oven!

Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake further until lightly browned (30-40 min). Serve.

I served this with chicken breast and spinach. It was a good dinner!

 

In other foodie news:

I was trying to use up all my cottage cheese before I left for break.

 

Mandarin Oranges in juice, drained over Cottage cheese

Random Sandwich I made on the spot before my last exam: Cottage cheese with Trader Joes Cranberry Apple Butter

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this yogurt! It tastes like a Chocolate milkshake. I had it for breakfast with raw oats and Kashi GoLean sprinkeled on top. SOOOOO good!

It would also be an AWESOME dessert!

 

Trader Joes Mocha Cappaciuno Yogurt

Another thing I discovered and cannot get enough of is hot chocolate coffee! Pour a packet of your favorite hot chocolate mix in a mug, pour brewed coffee over top, and froth some milk to top it off. Perfect cold weather, christmas time beverage!

I hope you all are enjoying your time off and spending time with friends and family. I know this time of year can get awfully stressful for many people, but try to remember to relax. Your time spent with friends and family has far greater meaning than the gifts under the tree!

 

What is your favorite comfort food?

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About fitnessnfoodiegirl

I am a twenty something girl who has a passion for cooking and helping others eat well. Fruits and veggies are awesome, but we all need a cookie or two to keep us grounded! I love to workout, I'm just a girl and a new wife who loves living a healthy lifestyle and sharing it with others!

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