I think some foods are sacred. I’m a big fan of health-ifying recipes, but some foods are just meant to be eaten in all their butter-laden, sugar-filled glory.
I think healthy eating is all about moderation, and part of that moderation is honoring the perfection that is certain comfort foods on occasion. Chili dogs. Chocolate chip cookies. Buttermilk biscuits. Macaroni and cheese used to be one of those foods for me too.
I’d much rather indulge in a cheese-filled mac and cheese dish occasionally instead of suffering through the sacrilege that is most of the “healthy” mac and cheese recipes out there on a more frequent basis.
And that was true, until I read the new menu at one of our local restaurants. One of the menu items was a macaroni and cheese made with one of my favorite local wheat beers, and the light bulb went on! For the first time, I thought I might be able to make a good healthy mac and cheese recipe (though I’d be balancing out the healthiness with the addition of booze). Win!
So I got to Googling for healthy mac and cheese recipes, and it seemed that using butternut squash as the base for the cheese sauce was the way to go.
The boiled squash turns creamy and smooth once it is run through the blender (much like it does in soup), and serves as a mild and nutty base for a small amount of cheese. Plus, it’s the right color. We all eat with our eyes, so having the creamy mac be bright yellow was important.
We were totally bowled over by how decadent and interesting the end result was. Instead of tasting healthy, it tasted creamy, comforting, and cheesy. The beer was a light, but noticeable, flavor in the background that made it more addictive with each bite. Enjoy!