Friday, September 25, 2009

{Light Mac n Cheese with Hidden Veggies}

Light Mac n Cheese
Make about 4 servings:

- 4 cups cooked elbows or other small pasta shape (about 1/2 pound dry)
- 1 1/2 cups evaporated skim milk
- 1/4 cup White Puree (See Below for White Puree mix)
- 4 ounces reduced fat light colored cheese (like white cheddar)
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese (optional)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard (ideally honey mustard; don't use spicy mustard) (I know some kids have mustard allergies. Just don't add this.)

> Mix all together in pot over low heat, mix; add pasta, stir

Yellow version:

Same as above, substituting reduced fat yellow cheddar for white cheddar cheese, and adding 4 teaspoons of Orange Puree

Puree Recipes:
White Puree
Makes about 2 cups of puree. Double recipe if you want to store even more, which can be done in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze 1/4 cup portions in sealed plastic bags or the small plastic containers. 
- 2 cups cauliflower, cut into florets
- 2 small to medium zucchini, peeled and rough chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1-2 tablespoons water, if necessary

> Steam cauliflower in a vegetable steamer over 2 inches of water, using a tightly-covered pot, for about 10 to 12 minutes until very tender. Alternatively, place cauliflower in a microwave-safe bowl , cover with water, and microwave on high for 8 to 10 minutes until very tender.

> While waiting for the cauliflower to finish steaming, start to pulse the raw peeled zucchini with the lemon juice only (no water at this point). Drain the cooked cauliflower. Working in batches if necessary, add it to the pulsed zucchini in the bowl of the food processor with one tablespoon of water. Puree on high until smooth. Stop occasionally and push contents from the top to the bottom. If necessary, use the second tablespoon of water to make a smooth (but not wet) puree.

Orange Puree
Note: Make puree ahead of time to save you less time in the kitchen come dinner time
This makes about 2 cups of puree. Double the recipe if you want to store another cup of puree. Store in refrigerator up to 3 days, or freeze one-quarter cup portions in sealed baggies or small plastic containers.
- 1 medium sweet potato or yam, peeled and rough chopped;
- 3 medium to large carrots, peeled and sliced into thick chunks;
- 2-3 tablespoons water

> In a medium pot, cover carrots and potatoes with cold water and boil for about 20 minutes until yams, and especially the carrots, are very tender. If the carrots aren't thoroughly cooked, they'll leave telltale little nuggets of vegetables, which will reveal their presence. (Then your kids will know the secret)

> Drain the potatoes and carrots and put them in the bowl of food processor with two tablespoons of water. Puree on high until smooth; no pieces of carrots or potatoes should remain. Stop occasionally to push the contents from the top to the bottom. If necessary, use the third tablespoon of water to make a smooth puree, but the less water the better.

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