Loaded Mac ‘n’ Cheese

My little munchster seems to love Italian. I am not the one to believe in Old Wives’ Tales but I am starting to think my craving for Italian when I was pregnant with T might have something to do with this. Might it? From pasta in Arrabbiata to Goats cheese Ravioli, give him anything and he won’t disappoint you.

Ever since T has started play school it’s been my conscious endeavour to pack fresh food for him. I typically skip the snack in the box routine and head straight for lunch recipes since their tiffin break is at lunchtime anyway.

This morning when I woke up, I was in the mood to make some Mac ‘n’ Cheese! But wait, knowing me, I cannot justify his balanced diet by the presence of a cheesy sauce alone.  No points for guessing what went in the sauce. Veggies of course!

Traditional macaroni and cheese is a casserole baked in the oven; however, it may be prepared in a sauce pan on top of the stove. My version of Mac ‘n’ Cheese is again pretty loaded with veggies and I hope your munchkins like it as much as mine does.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 small handful Mini elbow macaroni
  • Zucchini, finely cubed
  • Pumpkin, finely cubed
  • Parsley, only a little, finely chopped
  • 2 small cubes of Parmesan cheese (use as much as you please, one could grated or shaved Parmesan as well)
  • 2 teaspoons of whole wheat and soy flour
  • 1/2 cup of milk (adjust quantity according to the consistency of the sauce you with to prepare)
  • Salt, Pepper & Mustard powder to season
  • Ghee to sauté the veggies (use the quantity you desire)

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Method:

  • Cook the Elbow macaroni and set aside
  • In a cup, mix the flour and the milk and set that aside too
  • In a sauce pan, heat the ghee and sauté the veggies
  • Once the veggies are cooked (careful not to overcook them), Pour in the mix of the milk and flour and add the seasoning
  • Add the cheese. Keep stirring to avoid clumping
  • When the sauce thickens to the desired consistency turn off the stove
  • Add the chopped Parsely
  • Then add the cooked Elbow macaroni to the sauce and give it a good mix
  • Serve warm

Tips:

  • Keep stirring to avoid clumping
  • Adjust the thickness of the sauce by adding milk
  • Ghee – I have realised time and again that cooking in ghee or white un-salted butter eliminates the over powering taste of Olive oil or the saltiness of yellow butter
  • Veggies – Any kind of veggies can be used for this dish. Just chop them real fine
  • Cheese – One could use Cheddar instead of Parmesan or even a combination of Cheddar and Mozzarella.

 

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Loaded Veggie & Pasta Bake

Pasta seems to be on T’s perennial list of favourites. Works well for me because I can load it with lots of veggies mixed in with Stelline and he won’t know the difference, for now that is! 

Stelline is a tiny pasta variety traditionally used in soups and broths. I used it to make this cheesy pasta bake for T and it seemed to have worked well. I topped off this bake dish with a silky potato mash, the recipe of which I’ve shared in my previous post.

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Ingredients:

  • Zucchini, finely chopped
  • Onion, finely chopped
  • Mushroom, finely chopped
  • Garlic, finely chopped
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup Stelline, cooked
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp Cream
  • Cheese, grated

 

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Method:

  • Sauté the veggies with seasoning in the olive oil
  • Once par cooked add the cream and cheese and slow cook for about a couple of mins
  • Pour out the mix in a bake dish
  • Cover the top fully with the mashed potatoes
  • Bake for about 20 minutes at 200°