Guest Post! Creamy Light Mac & Cheese

Welcome to another Guest Post! Thanks for this recipe Becky! This looks so yummy, I can't wait to try it!!


Rachel and I have been friends since our freshman year of college. Neither one of us were big cooks back then, we ate out a lot. Now that we’re all grown up and she’s cooking so much, I thought I’d take a page out of her book and start cooking more often. 


Both my husband/lovely assistant and my growing baby (Note from Rachel, when Becky sent me this post she was 6 months pregnant...now she's due any day!!) appreciate the tasty, healthy meals at home. The first thing I made when I started my good wife/mommy routine was Rachel’s ground turkey enchiladas

I figured since I stole a recipe from her, I’d share one with her too! Here it is, “How to Make Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese” also known as “Tricking Your Husband into Making Dinner.” Because let’s face it, working full time and growing a baby is hard work.

Creamy Light Macaroni and Cheese
From Cooking Light Magazine
Hands on time - 1 hr. Total time - 1hr. 25 min.
Serves 8 (or 1 regular person and 1 hungry husband, with left-overs)

3 cups cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1, 1lb squash)
1 1/4 cups fat free, low sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups fat free milk
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 tbs fat free plain Greek yogurt
1 1/4 cups shredded Gruyere cheese
1 cup grated pecorino Romano cheese 
(I replaced  the Romano & Gruyere w/ shredded Chedder Jack. Hubby doesn't like "fancy cheese")
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 pound uncooked wheat macaroni
cooking spray
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup panko *we just used regular breadcrumbs and only 1/4 cup
2 tbs chopped fresh parsley *totally forgot this part and it didn't matter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

Cube & peel the squash. Never done that before? Me either. This video helped!

At this point, you may notice that cutting up and peeling squash requires a little muscle, this might be a good time to bring in your lovely assistant. Make sure you tell him that you need someone manly…they like that.

After your lovely assistant has finished peeling and cubing the squash, you can retire him for now, but don’t let him go far. If you’re like me and you accidentally manhandle the garlic, causing cloves to fly all over the kitchen, you’ll need him again. Lovely assistants are very useful for digging out that pesky clove that got stuck inside the trash can peddle.

Once you’ve cleaned up the garlic clove explosion, combine squash, broth, milk, and garlic in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over med/high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until squash is tender when pierced with a fork, about 25 min. Remove from heat. The official recipe didn't say to, but I stirred it periodically to keep the milk from getting a skin.

You’ll need the blender now, and you probably keep it in a hard to reach place. For example, ours is at the very back of a bottom cabinet. That makes pulling out the blender a task for your lovely assistant!

Place the hot squash mixture in the blender. Add salt, pepper, and Greek yogurt, be sure to do this part yourself. Husbands/lovely assistants will believe that you’re doing all the work if you handle the adding of ingredients. Remove the center piece of the blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid to blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid *I used two folded paper towels so I wouldn't yucky up one of my towels, which worked fine. Puree until smooth. Blending is fun, but since he’s already in the kitchen, why not just have your lovely assistant handle this task?

Place blended squash mixture in bowl; stir in Gruyere, pecorino Romano *or chedder jack which works and is yummy, and 2 tbs of Parmesan. Stir until combined. Again, since he’s still in the kitchen, assign this task to your lovely assistant, but make sure you do the actual adding of the cheese and stirring. He’ll perceive that as you doing the cooking.

Cook pasta according to package directions, drain well. Add pasta to squash mixture and stir until combined. Again, make sure you do the stirring. Men think stirring=cooking. Have your lovely assistant spread mixture evenly into a 13x9 in. glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and cook for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 2 tbs of Parmesan cheese (you’ll notice I didn’t “remove from heat” before adding the Parmesan, didn’t make a difference). Sprinkle evenly over the hot pasta mixture. Lightly coat topping with cooking spray.

Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until bubbly. Ovens are hot, here’s one last task for your lovely assistant! Sprinkle with parsley, serve immediately *unless you forgot the parsley, then just eat it!

Looks yummy right? It really is and the best part is that the average serving of macaroni and cheese has over 600 calories, but this healthy version only has 390! Best of all, it still tastes like macaroni and cheese! Yay! The best part is that, since you worked so hard on dinner, your lovely assistant will probably volunteer to do the dishes.

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