Have you seen "Thank You for Smoking?" If not, see it immediately. This is *actually* how all Vermonters feel about our cheddar:
Growing up in a dairy state like Vermont, there are few phrases in the English language that make my hair curl the way "reduced fat cheddar" does. Runners up would probably be "processed cheese food" and "frozen dessert" in place of ice cream. So when I set out to satisfy my ridiculous macaroni and cheese craving in a more healthy way, the cheese was non-negotiable. The noodles on the other hand, are really just a vehicle to transport cheese sauce to my mouth. I don't know about you, but I am not in the business of wasting empty calories on bland vehicles. Pinterest swore to me substituting spaghetti squash was a brilliant idea, and shockingly (seriously. this sounded like an awful idea), they were right! I also substituted greek yogurt for the heavier milk and butter I usually use, and ultimately cut the calories down to about 263 per serving! During baking the squash creates some liquid, rather than absorbing the way pasta does, so the sauce ends up thinner than the classic bechamel, but all in all this was freaking DELICIOUS. Guilt free mac and cheese, I will probably be eating you weekly.
Guilt Free Macaroni and Cheese
Makes 5 Servings
1 large Spaghetti Squash
1 tbsp butter
1/2 Vidalia Onion
2 cloves Garlic, minced
8 oz Sharp (Vermont!) Cheddar, grated
1/4 C Water
1/2 C Plain Low Fat Greek Yogurt
1 Pint Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half (optional)
1 Cup peas (optional)
1/4 tsp Dijon Mustard
1/4 C Bread Crumbs
1/4 C Grated Parmesan
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
Dash of Cayenne Pepper
Salt and Pepper to taste
1) Preheat oven to 425
2) Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Place squash (hollow side down) in a microwave safe dish with about 1cm of water in the bottom.
3) Microwave until tender (mine took about 11 minutes for each half). Be sure the squash is *really* tender, it won't cook much more after this point and no one wants it crunchy.
4) When squash is cooked, use a fork to scrape out the flesh out of the inside - it should come out in strings that look just like spaghetti
5) In a heavy bottom sauce pan, saute the onion and garlic in 1 tbsp butter over medium heat until onions are translucent. Add Cheddar and 1/4 C water, stirring constantly until the cheese is melted.
6) Add the greek yogurt, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper, and stir until incorporated. Remove from heat. I have a weird dislike for onion chunks, and at this point I also used an immersion blender to make the sauce completely smooth.
7) Combine sauce with spaghetti squash (and tomatoes and peas if desired), transfer this to a large baking dish. Combine bread crumbs with Parmesan cheese, and sprinkle all over the top of the pasta.
8) Bake for 30 minutes, or until topping becomes a golden brown, and serve!
Per Serving: 263 Calories, 6g Protein, 2g Fat