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Friday, December 21, 2018

Low Carb, Kid-Friendly Macaroni and Cheese


Macaroni and cheese is one of those classic comfort foods. When the weather is cooler or we just need a cozy meal to feed our soul, this is a classic go-to. 

The challenge is the recipe for Mac & Cheese is traditionally loaded with carbs and calories. My quest was to figure out how to offer a lower carb and lower calorie version of this classic that could qualify as diabetes-friendly, kid-friendly and gluten free. A tall order.

To be considered diabetes-friendly I wanted to have the overall carb count 45 grams or lower. This recipe came out at 44.25 grams.

To make it creamy and thick without adding flour I used butternut squash and Greek yogurt. Below is my new version of Macaroni and Cheese that met the necessary requirements AND the thumbs up from my family.



Luscious Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cubed butternut squash
  • 1 ¼ cups fat-free, low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 ½ cups nonfat milk
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 ¼ cup Gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup pecorino Romano cheese, grated
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated, divided
  • 16 ounces Banza® chickpea elbow pasta
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Cooking spray, olive oil flavor
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

Directions


  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Put water on to boil for cooking the pasta.
  2. Combine squash, broth, milk and garlic in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until squash is tender when pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Place the squash mixture in a blender. Add salt, pepper, and Greek yogurt. Remove the center cap in the blender lid to allow the steam to escape. Blend until smooth.
  4. Place blended mixture in a bowl. Stir in the Gruyere, Romano and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan. Stir until combined.
  5. Cook pasta according to the package directions omitting any salt or fat. Once cooked, drain well.
  6. Add pasta to the squash mixture. Spread the mixture evenly into a 13 x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle top with remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan.
  7. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes or until bubbly. Next turn on the broiler for 5 minutes to brown the top a nice golden color.
  8. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.

Serves: 8     Serving size: 1⅓ cups     Calories: 406
Fat .14.44g     Sodium 754mg     Carbs 44.25g     Protein 30g

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