Recipe: Butternut squash mac & cheese
So…I have a confession to make. All this writing about food has meant that I’ve put on a hell of a lot of weight, and I’m now doing something about it.
In January this year, I bit the bullet and joined Slimming World which (luckily) gives me the flexibility I need to still enjoy reviewing places for Bites, but also shift some of the pounds I’ve piled on. At the time of writing, I’d lost 1st 9lb in 9 weeks…and as well as enjoying the weight loss, I’m also enjoying coming up with tweaks to favourite recipes that fit with the plan.
One such recipe is mac & cheese, which we used to make all the time – a recipe that, for us, always demanded far more cheese than most recipes require. But with just 40g of reduced fat Cheddar making up my daily allowance, something had to give.
Butternut squash is an ingredient that I’ve been playing around with a lot at the moment – I’ve used it to make soups, I’ve roasted it as a snack, and I’ve even made butternut chips to go with evening meals. This is my latest creation – a butternut mac & cheese that’s nowhere near as cheesy as it could be – but if you’re not following Slimming World, feel free to add extra! It’s worth adding in the mustard powder – it brings out the cheesiness…
If you are on Slimming World, this recipe is syn-free if you use the cheese as a healthy extra…
Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese
150g pasta shapes of your choice
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1 butternut squash (ours weighed 600g), peeled and chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and each chopped into 3 pieces
1 litre of chicken/vegetable stock
1 tsp mustard powder
80g reduced fat extra mature Cheddar, grated
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Cook your pasta as per the packet’s instructions.
2. Place the butternut squash, onion, garlic and stock in a large pan, bring to the boil and cook until tender (about 10-15 minutes).
3. Drain off the stock, reserving it in a jug. Put the squash, onion and garlic in a blender and blend until smooth – or use a hand blender. Add some of the stock if needed to get the right consistency.
4. Stir the grated cheese and mustard powder into the butternut squash and add salt and pepper to taste. Keep stirring until the cheese has melted, adding more stock if required.
5. Mix with the pasta, heat through and serve with a side salad.
NB: You could always top with part of the grated cheese – or add more! – and bake in a shallow ovenproof dish in a 180C fan oven for 15 minutes until the cheese has melted.