19 October 2013

31 days... of dinner chez les Wrightlings... Butternut Squash Mac ‘n Cheeze {day 19}

I didn't grow up eating squash - of any kind - unless pumpkin pie counts.

But we came home from one of our Sunday meetings and our front porch had been loaded up by Tim's aunt, uncle and cousin with all sorts of garden goodies, including many pumpkins and several butternut squash.

What to do?

Google butternut squash recipes. I've found several I want to try. 

Today was my first attempt.

I adapted the recipe... because it was supposed to be a totally vegan mac and cheese... and I do really like cheese in my mac and cheese, so I knew I'd be adding at least THAT. I mean, mac and cheese minus the cheese sorta defeats the purpose, right?

First step was to half the squash, remove the pulp, peel and cut in to chunks. Drizzle those chunks with olive oil, salt and pepper (or whatever spices you like), toss and then roast uncovered.

That stuff was yummy enough to eat just as is right out of the oven: a lovely light sweet and nutty flavor perfectly seasoned. But I used self control and didn't eat the whole squash right then. It was a temptation since all I'd had for lunch was a bowl of leftover dry Fruit Loops and some of the pan roasted pumpkins seeds I'd made the other day. (I was busy cooking... that's my only excuse.)

I mashed the squash by hand (no food processor...), but seriously, hands work quite well, especially if you have little ones (with clean hands) looking to get involved. It's like playing with play dough... only it tastes a lot better.

Once the cheese sauce was made, I poured it, a cup of Greek yogurt and about 2 cups of the squash into the blender and mixed it all up into a smooth sauce.

All that was left was to cook the noodles and warm up the "psychedelic" stir fry. That's Rebekah's name for it because with the bright orange carrots, the broccoli and red cabbage, it made really pretty and very colorful stir fry. She said her first thought was that I was trying to poison them! I'd made the stir fry earlier - for the kids to take to school in their lunches - but there was still enough left to serve with our mac and cheese, so I warmed it back up, too.

See all the bright colors?

What I was really tickled by, however, was the fact that Tim was convinced there was meat in that stir fry!

Tonight's meal.

Most everyone (who was here) seemed to like it, 
although not as well as the regular mac and cheese I make.

Except, Jonathan, of course.
His comment?
"Mama? How did you make macaroni and cheese taste like salad?
That's just not right!"

My guess is he was tasting the Dijon mustard called for in the sauce... 
or maybe the stir fry on the table confused him.

He did clean his plate, however.

Another funny Jonathan story?

Thursday evenings are Jonathan and Tori's evenings for kitchen clean-up. Thursday night, Jonathan loaded the dishwasher. When I unloaded on Friday I found this: 

A paper cup in the washing machine.

So just in case anyone was wondering, Firehouse paper disposable cups are at least one cycle dishwasher safe.

Who would've known?

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