Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Zucchini Week: Baked Zucchini Macaroni and Cheese

I’ve been doing a lot of experimenting with macaroni and cheese lately. Like most kids, Andrew loves the stuff, and while he would probably be perfectly content with the blue box, I’ve been trying lots of new version that incorporate more vegetables. If he’s going to eat mac and cheese, at least I can make it somewhat healthy for him by sneaking in some cauliflower, spinach and artichokes, tomatoes (that recipe coming soon!), or pureed butternut squash or carrots (which I’m definitely going to try this fall). Every version I’ve made so far has been met with some level of success, and this version featuring shredded zucchini was no different.

We all liked this macaroni and cheese, actually. The idea came from Joanne at Eats Well With Others, but in the end I just used my normal macaroni and cheese method and kicked it up a bit. This hearty and delicious dinner is a great way to use up some of your zucchini bounty, and to sneak some green vegetables into your kiddos too.

Coming up tomorrow: chocolate zucchini cupcakes with chocolate cream cheese frosting. That’s right.

Baked Zucchini Macaroni and Cheese
source: adapted from Eats Well with Others

1 pound macaroni or other short pasta
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon hot sauce
3 cups milk
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
2 cups zucchini
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup Italian-style bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Using a kitchen towel, squeeze the zucchini to remove as much moisture from it as possible.

2. Cook pasta in salted water to al dente according to directions on box. Drain.

3. Meanwhile, melt butter and hot sauce over medium heat in a sauce pan. Whisk in flour; cook and stir until thickened, about 30 seconds. Whisk in milk and stir until mixture is thick and bubbly. Remove from heat and stir in cheddar and mozzarella cheeses. Stir in zucchini and season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Pour cheese and zucchini sauce over pasta and mix well. Pour into a greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish.

5. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, bread crumbs, and parmesan cheese. Sprinkle mixture evenly over pasta.

6. Bake until the top is bubbling and slightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes.



Keri said...

This is a great idea for getting veggies into toddlers. Hadley, like Andrew, loves mac and cheese. I'll have to try this method soon!!

Courtney said...

Sounds yummy and a great way to make zucchini

Sharon said...

What a great add in for Mac and Cheese!!! Putting this on next weeks menu!!

Anonymous said...

here are some new ways to cook with zukini http://www.besthealthmag.ca/eat-well/cooking/10-ways-to-cook-zucchini

Mrs. Ca said...

If Gabbie spots even the smallest bit of something that she deems should not be in her food, she refuses to eat it. With as picky as I was growing up, I probably totally deserve her eating habits. I, however, would probably eat a ton of any sort of macaroni and cheese (I only ate mac and cheese for almost two years. See? I totally deserve my kid's eating habits).

Monica H said...

I'm so hungry at this point- I could eat the entire pan of this. yum!

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