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mac and cheese

Creamy Taco Mac

I’ve had this pasta dish on my list of bookmarked recipes waiting to be made for awhile. Combining two of my favorite cuisines, Mexican and Italian, I knew before I started that this would be a winner. And it was. Prevention RD often features a lot of yummy vegetarian dishes on her site.

Aside from mixing cuisines, what also captivated me about this recipe was the use of yogurt instead of cheese. It’s a low-fat way to add to add a touch of creaminess to a plate of pasta. Speaking of low-fat, this entire dish is 100% healthy, packed with fiber, protein, and heart-helpful fats. It also comes with a ton of flavor that can jam out entirely in one pan. Hello decrease in extra dishes. Always a good recipe trait in my opinion.

Topped with avocado and fresh cilantro, the king and queen of Mexican adornment, you really can’t go wrong with this dish. And it’s a total success too with whole wheat pasta. Maybe I should let these two cuisines mix and mingle more often.

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Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Dare I say mac and cheese is my favorite comfort food? It’s so cheesy and rich, what’s not to like? Even the Velveeta stuff made from a box can seem like a luxurious indulgence. Though let’s be real, it’s nowhere near the luxuriousness that rings through the air when you say “butternut squash mac and cheese”.

When I first came across the idea to mix butternut and mac, I immediately bookmarked the idea in my mind as a “must make”. Normally, I don’t ever really cook mac and cheese, whether it be boxed or homemade. Yeah, I love the cheesy goodness, but I try to limit myself to those occasions that arise away from home. Me and a pot of mac and cheese in my kitchen? That would be one dangerous scene.

However, I recently had the opportunity to whip up a dish for a potluck, and I knew mac and cheese would go over well with a crowd. With some butternut squash stashed away from this summer’s garden, I jumped on the idea to finally make a version of mac and cheese. Let’s just say I might have gotten a little carried away as I walked out of the grocery store carrying nearly $30 worth of cheese. I was just a little excited to finally be making one of my favorite foods.

While the butternut does add an extra boost of nutrition, this is nowhere near the emblem of a healthy meal. It’s got more cheese than could make up the moon, but trust me, every last ounce of it is worth it. More than anything, the butternut adds an extra autumn creaminess and a slight nuttiness that goes perfectly with whole wheat pasta. So yes, with whole wheat and seasonal veggies, at least this mac and cheese has a little more than just deliciousness going for it.

Besides, you’ve got to make mac and cheese at least once in your life. Even if you’re vegan, and you find some way to do a dairy-less version. For me, butternut squash was the perfect excuse. Need an excuse of your own? How about a guaranteed crowd-pleaser for the upcoming holiday feastings.

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