Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Squash Casserole

A super delicious winter squash casserole. This is me we're talking about, so you know I substituted stuff.

-1/2 a butternut squash, cubed into about 1/2 inch cubes OR you can buy the bagged stuff that's already in blocks, if you're pressed for time.
(I added about 3/4 cup chopped sweet onions and 3/4 cup diced fresh mushrooms, too.)

-2 tsp olive oil (I used olive oil Pam instead)

-sprinkle of salt (I also used some ground black pepper and Italian seasoning)

-1/2 lb whole wheat elbows (that's about 10-ish ounces, I think. I don't know, I used half a package.)

- 2 Tbs butter (I used Smart Balance olive oil butter)

- 2 Tbs flour (I used whole wheat flour)

- 1 1/2 cups reduced fat milk (I used skim)

- 1 3/4 cups reduced fat white cheddar cheese (I used fat free Kraft cheddar, I'm sorry, it melts awesome and tastes fine to me. But feel free to use the reduced stuff.)

- optional: handful of bread crumbs

Step one: Preheat oven to 375. Spread squash (and any other veggies) on foil lined tray, and eat coat with olive oil or spray with cooking spray. Add salt/seasonings. Bake for 20 minutes or until tender, then set aside.

Step two: Cook pasta for two minutes less than package says. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, melt butter over low heat. Add flour and whisk in- cook for about two minutes.

Step three: slowly whisk in milk. Bring to a boil, then simmer. Cook about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1 1/2 cups cheese, stir until melted.

Step four: Spray casserole dish, I used the 9 by 13 glass kind. Add pasta, then add the squash/veggie mix. Mix it all up, then stir in the cheese sauce mixture. add the last 1/4 cup of cheese to the top, then sprinkle on the bread crumbs if you like.

Step five: Bake for 10 minutes.

Also, once you've mastered this cheese sauce, you can use it for pretty much anything. I've used it in macaroni and cheese, topping for potatoes, you name it. Pretty handy little side recipe.

until later....

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