We all know the wintertime means comfort food, especially when we have Diners Drive In's and Dives on repeat. The cravings for all of that yummy food become an everyday thought. So, I did a little experimenting. On Sunday, I worked on two variations of all time favorites. The first recipe I tried was a vegetable lasagna, with zucchini as the "noodles" and cauliflower, mushrooms, and spinach as the "meat filling". It was pretty tasty. I also perfected my Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese recipe, which was my second time making it. It's good and it doesn't leave me feeling guilty about what I'm eating. Even Ryan says you can't tell it's not made of all cheese.
1. Get someone strong (or if you're brave...) to cut open a butternut squash. These things scare me.
2. Drizzle some olive oil and salt and pepper of both halves. Pop it in the oven for about an hour on 350 degrees. This will soften it!
3. Take out the butternut squash. In a skillet with a little olive oil, begin scooping out the insides of the squash. Mush it up as you go. (I used a fork!) It doesn't take long because it's already so soft from the oven.
4. Add spices: I went with salt, pepper, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, and some Italian seasoning. By the time you are done adding the spices, it should be smooth with no large chunks of squash.
5. Add in the cheese to the skillet. I used about a cup of cheddar, but whatever floats your boat. Obviously, cheese is still added so it's not 100% guilt free, but think about all of the cheese you're saving and all of the vegetables you're adding!
6. Stir until it is all incorporated. Leave the skillet over low heat.
7. Cook up some macaroni noodles! I used whole wheat, but pick what you love!
8. Once the noodles are finished, mix the noodles and the squash mixture in a casserole dish. Pop it in the oven uncovered for about a half hour. (Sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top for a little extra goodness.)
9. Let it cool and ENJOY!