Velveeta Mac and Cheese

Posted on November 12, 2009. Filed under: Pasta, side dish |

So I have this problem. I can’t ever make a recipe the way it says too. I lied, sometimes I can. But rarely. And if the recipe has many ‘bad for you’ ingredients I almost always try to replace them. Well, this recipe is no different.

I am so weird. I made this for a ‘White Trash Wine Party.’ So you would think I would go with the theme and make this truly white trash, which means not including any type of ingredient that would even mildly reflect health. But of course I kept thinking, “I need more vegetables in here, more vegetables.” So I had to…

*On a side note, my grandma (Actually my step grandma, but whatever) said I should decorate the house with a clothes line and hang under wear on it. And then she went even further to say, “I can give you some of grandpa’s old underwear to hang.” WHAT? Okay, that just crossed the line. I’m all for poop and fart talk. But I DO NOT want to talk about my grandpa’s old underwear.

Anyway, back to the mac and cheese. I replaced the rue (flour and butter mixed as a thickening agent in a sauce) with pureed butternut squash. It changes the flavor, but not in a bad way. Honestly no one will know you added it. But you will know you omitted some of the fat and replaced it with vegetables. You can also puree some steamed carrots too. Which I will do next time. Pretty much anything orange you can cook and puree and mix it in. Because butternut squash is a little sweet, I had to balance out the sweetness with some extra salt. Look, I’m 27 and don’t have to worry about my salt intake. But I am 27 and do worry about gaining weight. So I take the good with the bad. In any case, I love this recipe. And if it weren’t for the white trash party, I would have replaced the velveeta with real cheese. Probably romano and brie. Next time…

Serves 10
16 ounces whole wheat shell pasta
16 ounces low fat velveeta cheese
1 can(15 ounces) pureed butternut squash (use pumpkin is bn squash isn’t available)
1 cup 1% milk
1/2 cup low fat cheddar cheese
1 cup non fat greek yogurt
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp nutmeg
4 hot dogs, sliced into bite sized
12 ritz crackers, crumbled

Cook the pasta according to box instructions. Rinse and set aside.

In a large saucepan, heat the velveeta, butternut squash and milk. Stir until melted and smooth.

When it is melted add the shredded cheese, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir until smooth. Then add the cooked shell noodles and sliced hot dogs. Pour into a greased 4 quart casserole dish. Sprinkle with ritz crackers.

Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes. Until the top is golden brown and bubbly.

*I didn’t even take a picture of this with my new camera. What was I thinking? I’m not sure. Everyone loved it though. Not gonna lie, Hebrew National Hot Dogs would have tasted the best in here. But of course I used Trader Joe’s turkey dogs, which are low fat. This would be a great side dish on Thanksgiving, with a few modifications; no hot dogs, and use really cheese, not velveeta.

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