Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Sneaky Whole Wheat Mac and Cheese with Teriyaki Chicken and Sauteed Carrots and Green Beans

I call the mac and cheese "sneaky" because it is lower in fat and contains one 10 oz package of butternut squash. You will NEVER be able to tell it's in there! It came out so creamy and delicious, yet it was lightened up from a traditional mac and cheese and made with whole wheat pasta. The chicken and veggies are so easy to make. This is a great meal that any kid would love! For my toddler, I placed the chicken and veggies in my mini food processor and pulsed it just until it was chopped (still quite chunky). Then, I stirred in a generous spoonful of the mac and cheese and it became chicken and veggie mac and cheese. He loved it!

4 FROZEN chicken breasts (or one breast per person)
bottled Veri Veri Teriyaki marinade, found in the asian food section of most grocery stores. It's a very simple, natural marinade that tastes AMAZING on salmon and chicken.
3 large organic carrots, peeled and sliced into sticks
2 cups whole green beans, rinsed and snipped of any stems
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 12 oz box whole wheat elbow macaroni
1/3 cup flour
3 tbsp unsalted butter
2 1/4 cup skim milk or 1 % (I only buy skim, so sometimes I add a little half and half to bump up the fat content if needed for a sauce)
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp dried mustard powder
1 10 oz bag of frozen butternut squash, thawed and mashed with a fork
4 oz shredded swiss cheese
6 oz 2% milk reduced fat cheddar (3/4 of a bar of cheese)
2 oz 2% milk reduced fat cheddar, reserved for topping
1/2 cup freshly toasted breadcrumbs, or store bought

For the chicken:
Place frozen chicken in a baking pan. Drizzle with olive oil. Pour a generous amount of the marinade over the chicken, turning it over to coat both sides. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Flip over the chicken breasts. Bake 20 minutes longer. Turn on the broiler setting in the oven. Broil chicken for 5 minutes, or until nicely browned on the top side.

For the veggies:
Place carrots in a 10 inch frying pan. Add the water. Simmer for 6 minutes. Add the green beans and cover. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove lid and allow the rest of the water to evaporate. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt and add 1 tbsp butter. Sautee until the carrots just begin to brown. Serves 4

For the mac and cheese:
Cook pasta according to package directions. Melt butter in a saucepan. Add the flour. Stir to form a smooth paste and cook about 1 minute. Add the milk, 3/4 tsp salt, pepper and mustard. Cook until thickened. Stir in the swiss cheese, 6 oz shredded lowfat cheddar cheese and squash. Stir until the cheese melts. Remove from the heat. Drain cooked pasta and place back into the pot you cooked it in. Pour the sauce over the pasta. Stir well. Pour into a greased 13 by 9 inch baking dish. Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake 5 minutes longer. Serves 8

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