Butternut Squash Mac n Cheese

Butternut Squash Mac n Cheese

1 butternut squash
1 pkg. rotini pasta
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp butter
1 cup 2% milk 
1/4 cup cheese
seasonings to taste

1. Peel and cube butternut squash.
2. Steam the cubed squash until tender and soft (about 25-30 minutes)
3. remove squash cubes from the steamer and place in a bowl. Mash with a fork until a creamy consistency is reached. Set aside. ( * for any of you who need to see a video demonstration of this part, please scroll down to the end of this post! *)
4. melt butter in a saucepan then add flour and whisk with a wire whisk until the butter is completely coated. 
5. Pour in the milk and continue stirring with a whisk.
6. Add the pureed butternut squash to the roux (white sauce that you prepared in the steps above) and then season to taste.
7. Add 1/4 cup cheese. Only add at 1 tbs at a time and taste after each addition. You might find that you dont need the whole 1/4 cup! 
6. pour over boiled rotini noodles and serve. I garnish mine with whatever fresh herbs I have in the kitchen in order to brighten the flavors.

Print Recipe Here

Nutrient Analysis 


Pictured above are two nutrient labels for two different Mac n Cheese recipes. The first is a standard recipe that includes equal parts flour and butter, Milk (full fat), cheese, and noodles. For eight servings, the standard recipe comes to a whopping 430 calories, with over 19% of that coming from fat! yikes! The variation analysis is my butternut squash recipe. As you can tell from the recipe above,  all I did was cut down the cheese to a 1/4 cup and instead of using whole milk, I used 2%.  I then replaced the other cup and a half of cheese with steamed butternut squash. These two changes brought the total calories down from 430 to 270 calories.  But the most amazing part is the Fat which was brought down from 22g to 4g, with trans fat being ZERO! Cholesterol and sodium also improved, and we even added a little fiber to the dish!! (major score). Protein and calcium did go down in the butternut squash recipe but are still at sufficient levels. Overall this was a huge success in our household.  My family LOVED this recipe and you might find that your family does too! If you dont, well that's totally fine as well :) I really wanted to do this though to show that one simple swap can have a HUGE impact on overall nutrition quality. So next time you are in the kitchen, think about these things and try to incorporate more vegetables into whatever dish you are making. It can make all the difference in the world. Good luck! :)

 butternut squash demonstration

Video demonstration for anyone who needs a visual on the preparation steps of butternut squash. I'm still new to this whole video thing, so bear with me! :) But hopefully, this could be of some help to those who have never worked with butternut squash. Just take your time and go through the steps below.


Copper Mountain Ski Trip

Ski trip 2018 was a success! This was our first time skiing (or in cals case, snowboarding) so the fact that we all came back in one piece is the biggest success. That and the trip itself was so much fun. I was a little nervous, mainly due to the fact that I have never been skiing, but also because Rob was new to this as well.  I'm used to teaching rob things that I know. This was the first time we have both been in the same boat as newbies! It was definitely tricky at times, and sometimes downright stressful, especially when trying to make sure we both get down the mountain or off the lift in time. There was even one incident where Rob didn't let go of the t bar in time, and I literally had to leap forward (skis on!) and tackle him to the ground before the lift took him off the mountain! It sounds a lot more dramatic than it actually was, but it was still pretty intense. lol We learned a lot in the few short days we were there though, and by day three we were cruising down the bunny slopes with no prob!  If we had another day or two, then we would be killing the double diamond slopes in no time! totally kidding ;) Maybe next time though! We already looking forward to coming back.


Snow Day 2018!

 I got the phone call late last night that Robs school had closed due to the weather. If you live in the south, then you know how crazy we get when it snows. It's not that we never get snow, but when we do the whole city shuts down which means no school, all play! :D When I woke up it was pure sleet and ice (blah) but then around 9 am, fresh powdery snow started to fall down and it was just pure magic! It makes me wish that I had kept my Christmas tree up. It wouldn't have been a real white Christmas, but a girl can pretend! Maybe next year I will remember to hang on to all my decor a little longer ;)