Butternut Mac & Cheese

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Gv has been on a pasta kick lately, but she's been preferring to eat it the laziest way I know to possibly prepare it - I just drizzle a little extra-virgin olive oil over the noodles, then shake on a bit of garlic powder and nutritional yeast.

Now, this is fine for a quick, fill-her-up type of snack (and my lazy self certainly doesn't mind fixing it this way), but the problem is, she's been asking for it this way all the time.

Not really the most nutritious meal for her to be eating five times a day, despite the fact that we use whole-wheat pasta.

So I've been on the quest to come up with ways to get more veggies in her, and I'm happy to say that this idea is not only kid-approved, but simple, as well.

We buy a lot of things by the case (did you know that Whole Foods gives a 10% discount on anything you buy a case of?), so our pantry is stocked with things like cases of canned organic butternut squash and pumpkin, which makes it easy to add these healthy gourds to recipes on the fly, especially something like this:

What You Need

1 pound cooked pasta

1 can of butternut squash

1/4-1/2 cup milk of choice

2 Tablespoons butter

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

salt to taste

sage (again, to taste - sage goes great with squash, but if your kid isn't into the taste of it like ours is, just leave it out)

garlic powder (we really like garlic, but you don't have to add this, either)

What You Do

1. Mix up everything and heat it up just enough to get it all melty.  If you work quickly and mix it up using just-cooked pasta, it  will probably be warm enough to do the trick.  Otherwise you'll just need to heat it a tad on the stove or in the microwave.
That's it!  Adjust the salt, sage and garlic until it's the flavor you're after, then gobble it up for a veggie-packed, satisfying meal.

You might never eat regular mac and cheese again!

Do you think you could give this version a try, or are you a die-hard blue-box fan?  I'd love to hear!  Either leave a comment below or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.

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