Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

Canada’s Food Guide recommends eating 7 to 10 servings of fruits and veggies every day for adults. Of this, you should have atleast one dark green vegetable (broccoli, kale, spinach) and one orange vegetable (sweet potato, squash, carrots). This is to make sure that you eat a variety of foods and therefore a full range of vitamins and minerals. But no where in there does it say that your orange vegetable can’t be in mac and cheese form. This really is the ultimate fall comfort food. And not a blue and orange package or neon cheese in sight!

By making the base of this sauce with pumpkin puree instead of cream and butter, you save a ton of calories and fat, while gaining some fibre and getting half a serving of vegetables. Also, according to my Community Food Advisor training last night, pumpkin has the most fibre per serving of any fruit or vegetable. I thought it was raspberries, but go figure!

Make sure you’re using pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling, or you will come out with a very sweet mac and cheese. Which I think would be strange but might taste ok. But save yourself the sugar for some cookies or something. This recipe makes 3 servings.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups uncooked whole wheat macaroni
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tbsp butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cup shredded medium or old cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp mustard powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • extra cheese for topping
  1. In a large non-stick skillet, heat the onions on medium heat until soft.
  2. In the meantime, cook the macaroni according to the directions and drain.
  3. Once the onions are soft, add the pumpkin puree to the skillet and cook, stirring as needed until heated through.
  4. Add the butter and margarine and stir to combine. The sauce should still be thick but smooth.
  5. Slowly add the cheese, stirring constantly to distribute evenly and prevent lumps.
  6. Add the nutmeg, paprika, mustard powder, and salt and pepper and mix.
  7. Add the cooked macaroni to the skillet and fold it into the sauce.
  8. Serve topped with extra cheese.
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