yummy & good for the tummy.

if you’re like me in the winter time, and enjoy homestyle comfort food for what seems like breakfast, lunch and dinner… but strive to live up to the victoria’s secret body. there are always ways to eat your favorite classics, the healthy way.

today i crave mac n’ cheese. and although this isn’t quiiiiite the same as a diner style three cheese and bacon melt that i would usually have (mmmmmm) – it seems like it would deliver that warm, cozy feeling without all the guilty lard aftermath.

*Ricotta & Pureed Squash Mac n’ Cheese*
stolen from martha stewart.

Ingredients:
Serves 6

  • 1 small butternut squash (about 1 pound), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
  • 1 cup homemade or organic chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups nonfat milk
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more for water
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 4 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, finely grated (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 4 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese (1 ounce)
  • 2 tablespoons fine breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Olive-oil cooking spray
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine squash, stock, and milk in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until squash is tender when pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Mash contents of saucepan; stir in nutmeg, cayenne, and salt, and season with black pepper. Stir to combine.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil; add salt. Add noodles; cook until al dente, according to package instructions, about 8 minutes. Drain, and transfer to a large bowl; stir in squash mixture, cheddar, ricotta, and 2 tablespoons Parmesan.
  3. Lightly coat a 9-inch-square baking dish (4 inches deep) with cooking spray. Transfer noodle mixture to dish. In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs, the remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan, and oil; sprinkle evenly over noodle mixture.
  4. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake 20 minutes. Remove foil, and continue baking until lightly browned and crisp on top, 30 to 40 minutes more. Serve immediately.

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