As we know, teenagers love comfort food—and, yep, we love it too. Of course, we especially love it when it’s easy-to-make and nutritious. That’s why Chef Mike Rakun, executive chef at the popular Minneapolis eateries Mill Valley Kitchen and Marin, shared his Butternut squash inspired take on a perennial favorite. With all the cheesy-goodness of mac and cheese and the health of butternut squash, this recipe has it all. Simple and fun, this is one meal your teens will certainly enjoy.
Mike Rakun’s Macaroni and Cheese
3 cups Butternut squash
1 cup vegetable stock
1 ½ cups milk
¼ tsp nutmeg
¾ tsp salt
½ lb American cheese (or cheddar as a healthier alternative)
1 lb dried elbow macaroni pasta
1. Peel and cube the Butternut squash (or buy pre-cubed). You can dice the squash into large chunks.
2. Place the diced Butternut squash and vegetable stock into medium sauce pan. Season with salt. Bring to a boil and cook until squash is soft enough to puree. Stick a fork in it to test for readiness. Remove from heat.
3. Puree the squash-stock mixture together with the milk. An immersion blender makes this easy.
4. Place the puree back on the stove. Add the nutmeg, and over low heat slowly melt the cheese into the puree.
5. Prepare pasta as directed on the box.
6. Drain and toss hot pasta with the cheese mixture until evenly coated. Should be served immediately.
Chef Mike Rakun is executive chef at the popular Minneapolis eateries Mill Valley Kitchen and Marin. He is dedicated to using healthy and local produce in all of his recipes, and has gained a sizable following for his delicious and healthy recipes.