Mac & Cheese: Taste-bud Rejuvenation

For the Love of Chicken Nuggets: Tastebud Rejuvenation for Kids and Kids at Heart

A 5 Week Blog Series for Full House MOMs and Dads

By: Megan Roosevelt, RD, LD

Founder and CEO of Healthy Grocery Girl

Mac and Cheese, one of the ultimate comfort foods and childhood classics. Commonly
eaten for its delicious cheesy taste and as a “good source” of protein and calcium, it can
be a staple meal for many. However mac and cheese, while comforting, hasnʼt always
been considered a health food. The dish you may remember from your childhood has
had quite a makeover recently, both in taste, nutritional quality and sneaky healthy
flavors added in.

A Standard Dish: Kraft Mac and Cheese
A serving size of Kraft Mac and Cheese (1/3 a box = 1 cup prepared by directions with
2% RF milk and margarine) contains; 400 calories, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 4 grams
of trans fat (hydrogenated oils), 6 grams of sugar, 7 grams of protein and 2 grams of
fiber. While this meal does contain a small amount of protein (from the cheese and
milk), it really is lacking overall in healthy ingredients.

A Healthy Dish: Amyʼs Mac and Cheese
You can nutritionally enhance any box of mac and cheese by adding vegetables. Afraid
your kids will pick them out? Try blending vegetables in the blender or food processor
with your boxed-cheese-sauce ingredients and use as a “creamy veggie cheese sauce”
or chop up spinach and broccoli in teeny-tiny pieces, then stir in with mac and cheese
prior to serving. Amyʼs Organic Mac and Cheese provides quality ingredients you can
pronounce and feel good about serving yourself and the family. For a healthy milk swap,
switch up your regular milk for coconut or almond milk!

A Healthy Homemade Dish
Great for the dairy-free and gluten-free family!

Butternut Squash and Hidden Veggie Mac and Cheese
Adapted from OhSheGlows
Mac & Cheese

• 1/2 butternut squash, peeled and chopped (yields: 3.5 cups raw)
• 3/4 cup raw cashews
• 1 cup non-dairy milk (Unsweetened plain coconut or almond milk)
• 3 garlic cloves
• 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
• 2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
• 6 tbsp Nutritional yeast (creates a cheesy consistency)
• 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
• 1/4-1/2 tsp Tumeric powder, optional (creates a orange cheese-like color)
• 4.5 Cups of Dry Penne or Elbow Noodle Pasta. I like Brown Rice Pasta.
• Optional* Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• Optional* 1/4-1/2 tsp Paprika + more to season

1. Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease a baking sheet with coconut butter. In a
bowl, add chopped squash with 1 tsp coconut butter or oil and a few pinches of kosher
salt and stir. Then add squash to baking sheet and roast in the oven for 40 minutes,
flipping once half way through baking.

3. Now itʼs time to make the “Cheese Sauce”. Add just your cashews to a food
processor and process. Add in the remaining cheese sauce ingredients, (non-dairy milk,
garlic, lemon, salt, nutritional yeast, pepper, mustard, seasonings) and process until
smooth. Add chopped vegetables such as spinach and broccoli to food processor and
pulse to blend if your desire. Leave sauce in the food processor, you will be adding the
butternut squash soon.

4. Cook your pasta according to package directions. When squash is finished roasting
in the oven, add squash to food processor and blend with cheese sauce until you reach
a smooth and creamy consistency. Add more coconut or almond milk to thin our sauce,
if desired.

5. When pasta is ready, drain and rinse with cold water. Add the pasta back into the
same pot and add desired amount of “cheese sauce” on top, and stir. You can add more
vegetables to your dish here such as peas, corn and shredded carrot.

For nutrition and health related questions please contact:
Megan Roosevelt, RD, LD

or visit