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Lighter Southern Mac & Cheese – 30% Less Fat

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FitMenCook

My name is Kevin. My life changed when I realized that healthy living is truly a lifelong journey, mainly won by having a well-balanced diet and enjoying adequate exercise. By experimenting in the kitchen and openly sharing my meals, I learned that healthy eating is hardly boring and that by making a few adjustments, I could design a diet that could help me achieve my personal fitness goals. Our bodies are built in the kitchen and sculpted in the gym.

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Lighter Southern Mac & Cheese – 30% Less Fat

Ingredients

Lighter Southern Mac & Cheese - 30% Less Fat
Ingredients for 6 servings (UPDATED 11/21/22)

  • 8oz dry macaroni, elbow shape
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted (vegan) butter
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cup butternut puree (see recipe below)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or more/less for texture)
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar, reduced fat (divided into 3 equal parts)
  • 4oz can green chilis (optional yet recommended)
  • sea salt & pepper to taste
Steps
  1. Set oven to 400F.
  2. Cook macaroni according to the instructions provided then drain, run under cool water, then set aside to cool.
  3. Set a saucepan on medium heat and once hot add butter.  Wait until the butter has completely melted before adding the flour, then whisk to stir.  You may need to either reduce the heat or momentarily remove it from the heat, then slowly add the butternut puree and whisk quickly so not to clump.  Add almond milk – as much as needed – in order to thin it out to about the texture of heavy cream.
  4. Fold in about 3/4 cup cheddar and the  green chilis and stir.  If you need to add  more cheese for texture and consistency, do that.
  5. Pour the puree over the macaroni and stir until all the macaroni are covered in cheesy sauce.  Add half the macaroni to your baking dish, then sprinkle in another 3/4 cup of cheese.  Add the remaining macaroni on top and top with the rest of the cheese.
  6. Cover with foil and bake for 25 – 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for an additional 4 – 6 minutes, or until the cheese on the top has browned.  Let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.
    Lighter Southern Mac & Cheese - 30% Less Fat Lighter Southern Mac & Cheese - 30% Less Fat

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Calories
400
Protein
22g
Fat
17g
Carbs
41g
Sodium
490mg
Fiber
3g
Sugar
3g
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Quick Butternut Squash Puree

Ingredients

Ingredients for 8 servings

serving size – 1/2 cup, makes about 32oz
  • 2lb butternut squash 1-inch to 2-inch pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped and seeded
  • pinch of sea salt & pepper
  • spray olive oil
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (I recommend the extra creamy almond milk)
Steps

Set oven to 400F.  Place food on a baking tray, spray with oil then add a pinch of sea salt & pepper.  Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the veggies are soft.  Let them slightly cool before adding to blender along with the almond milk to liquify.

Calories
70
Protein
2g
Fat
1g
Carbs
15g
Sodium
100mg
Fiber
3g
Sugar
3g