Macaroni and cheese is one of my favorite comfort foods, when I think back to all the times I made the "Kraft boxes" as a kid I get warm feeling inside and of course, a hankering for some serious mac and cheese. But it turns out the boxed stuff is not so great for you (ie: contains msg, in which I've come to find out I'm allergic to), causing me to look elsewhere for equally as awesome alternatives.
Enter homemade macaroni and cheese with sweet potato, and don't knock it until you've tried it. It is amazing. I happened to stumble across the recipe last year in a Parent's magazine and haven't looked back since, though I've managed to make a few tweaks here and there substituting the original request for acorn or butternut squash with sweet potatoes, and using faux cheese and soy/almond products for my allergy prone friends. It's become quite the family favorite and lasts only for a short time in my house.
The New( Healthier) Macaroni and Cheese:
1 box elbow noodles
1 3/4 C Shredded Cheddar Cheese (I used Colby Jack for this batch)
1 1/2 C Milk (or Plain Soy/Almond Milk)
2 Tbsp Flour
1 Sweet Potato - Diced
1 Tsp Olive Oil
Preheat Oven to 375F
1. After dicing your sweet potato toss it in 1tsp Olive Oil and place on baking pan, and bake in over for 15 mins (or until sweet potatoes are cooked).
2. Melt butter in saucepan on medium-low heat, whisk in flour when butter is completely melted forming a 'paste'. In another saucepan boil 2 cups of water for the elbows to cook, you want them to be slightly firm for baking.
3. Slowly whisk in 1 1/2 cups of milk to the butter and flour mixture and bring to boil, reduce heat and cook on low for 3 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
4. Drain pasta, and pull the sweet potatoes out of oven (leaving the oven on) leaving them to cool for a moment. Place drained pasta and diced sweet potatoes in a 13x9 casserole dish, then slowly add 1 3/4 cups of cheese to milk, butter and flour mixture stirring continuously until cheese is melted.
5. Pour the mixture over the pasta and sweet potatoes and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool, serve as a quick and easy lunch entree or a side dish for any meal. Enjoy :)