Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

6 weeks until our wedding! I have given up sweets for Lent (except for dark chocolate), and so far it hasn’t been too much of a struggle. I am lucky because my birthday usually falls during Lent so I can cheat. (I had two slices of gluten free cake on my 20-17th birthday.) Right now I am focusing on training for a half marathon happening in 3 weeks and keeping my immune system up by juicing lots of citrus. I’ve been told by 3 people that I’ve lost too much weight, which was definitely not intentional, so I am trying to eat more calories. Not a problem when it is -5 every morning.

I was watching The Chew a while back, and they made this healthier version of mac and cheese. I like to make less-than-healthy foods more nutritious (for example, I always put quinoa on my nachos) so I was excited to try mac and cheese with butternut squash. I liked this a lot, and served it with BBQ chicken.

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  • 3 cups  cubed butternut squash
  • 1 1/4 cups  chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups  milk
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons  fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup  shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 1 cup  grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1 pound small GF pasta (I used elbows)
  • 1 tablespoon  butter
  • 1/2 cup  GF breadcrumbs
  • In a medium saucepan over medium-high, add butternut squash, stock, milk and garlic.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer until the squash is tender (about 20 minutes).
  • Remove from heat and add to the base of a blender (or use immersion blender).  Add in the Greek yogurt and season with salt and pepper.  Blend starting on low and slowly increase the speed, being careful to avoid splatters. Blend until smooth and then add in the Gruyere and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Blend again until combined and cheese is melted.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Cook the cavatappi according to the package instructions.
  • Meanwhile, heat butter in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and cook until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • When pasta is done, drain and add it directly to the cheesy squash mixture.
  • Serve with the toasted breadcrumbs sprinkled on top.
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