Photo by Peter Ardito.Fiber-rich sweet potato is used as the base for the cheese sauce in this healthy, homemade macaroni and cheese recipe. The bright orange color tricks your eyes into thinking this healthy macaroni and cheese recipe is loaded with cheese, but there’s actually only about half as much cheese as compared to a traditional recipe.
8 ounces Whole-Wheat elbow noodles (2 cups) 1 medium sweet Potato (about 12 ounces) 2 cups fat-free milk 2 tablespoons all-purpose Flour 1 small clove Garlic, minced 1 1/4 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 1/4 teaspoon Salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground Pepper 1/2 cup frozen Peas, thawed 3 tablespoons coarse dry whole-wheat Breadcrumbs (see Tip) 1 teaspoon extra-virgin Olive oil
1. Position a rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler. Coat a 2-quart broiler-safe baking dish with cooking spray. 2. Cook noodles in a large pot of boiling water until just tender, 7 to 9 minutes. Drain; set aside. 3. Meanwhile, prick sweet potato with a fork in several places. Microwave on High until tender all the way to the center, 7 to 10 minutes. 4. Whisk milk, flour and garlic in a large saucepan. Heat over medium heat, whisking frequently, until steaming and hot, but not boiling. Remove from heat. 5. As soon as the sweet potato is cool enough to handle, cut open and scoop the flesh into the steaming milk. Puree with an immersion blender until smooth. (Alternatively, transfer to a blender and puree just until smooth, then return to the pot; use caution when pureeing hot liquids.) 6. Add cheese, mustard, salt and pepper and stir until the cheese melts. Add the pasta and peas to the sauce and stir to coat. Transfer to the prepared baking dish. Combine breadcrumbs and oil and sprinkle on the pasta. Broil on the upper rack until the top is lightly browned and crispy, 1 to 2 minutes.
Serving size: about 1 1/4 cupsTip: To make your own coarse dry breadcrumbs to top this baked mac & cheese, trim crusts from whole-wheat bread, tear the bread into pieces and process in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 250°F until dry, 10 to 15 minutes. (One slice of bread makes about 1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs.)
This program, brought to you by Dairy Council of California, aligns with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
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