Did you know that improving your health can be as easy as cutting out meat and processed cold cuts one day a week? Doing so can reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity.
Enter Meatless Monday. This week's recipe is Squash Sunchoke Mac & Cheese. "Butternut squash is roasted and mashed with sunchokes in this root vegetable crowd pleaser," writes the Meatless Monday website. They add, "A Dijon mustard roux serves as the base for a luscious sauce in this hearty mac and cheese, finished perfectly with crunchy whole-wheat breadcrumbs."
Squash Sunchoke Mac & Cheese
— 1/2 small butternut squash, seeded
— 2 medium sunchokes*, peeled
— 12 ounces elbow macaroni
— salt, to taste
— 1/4 teaspoon pepper
— 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
— 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
— 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
— 1 3/4 cups nonfat milk
— 1/4 cup low sodium vegetable stock
— 4 ounces Muenster cheese, grated
— 4 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
— 1/2 cup whole-wheat breadcrumbs
*Also known as Jerusalem artichokes, sunchokes can be found at farmer’s markets or in the gourd section of the vegetable aisle in some grocery stores.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with a layer of aluminum foil. Lay the squash, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Add the peeled sunchokes to the sheet, place it in the oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until the squash is tender when pierced with a butter knife.
Scoop the squash’s flesh into a large mixing bowl and mash it using a fork. Add the roasted sunchokes, mashing to incorporate them with the butternut squash. For the smoothest consistency, add the squash sunchoke mash to a food processor or blender and puree if desired.
Place a large pot of salted water over medium-high heat. Cook the pasta according to package directions, or until al dente, drain, return to the pot, remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Place a medium saucepan over medium heat. Melt the butter in the saucepan, then whisk in the flour and mustard. Continue whisking over medium heat for about 1 minute, then slowly add in the milk, stirring constantly. Bring the mixture to a simmer, lower heat to medium-low and keep simmering, whisking frequently, for 5-6 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened to the consistency of heavy cream.
Season the sauce with the pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add the squash sunchoke mash, Muenster and cheddar, stirring with a wooden spoon until the cheese has melted.
Pour the cheese sauce into the cooked macaroni, stirring to ensure all ingredients are evenly incorporated. Preheat your broiler.
Pour the macaroni into a medium baking dish and top with the breadcrumbs. Broil for about 10 minutes, or until it is bubbly with brown edges. Divide into 10 servings and enjoy!
Nutrition info: 268 calories, 7 g total fat, 4 g saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 20 mg cholesterol, 169 mg sodium, 38 g total carbs, 2 g dietary fiber and 13 g protein.
This recipe comes to us from Lisa of Cold Cereal and Toast.