If you can’t be comfortable around Torch Lake…
you probably won’t be comfortable anywhere.
But everyone needs comfort food occasionally no matter where they are. Its also true that people take their comfort food seriously, especially when you start talking about healthy alternatives. After all the basic premise of comfort food is that it might contain things not-so-good-for you, like rich creamy chocolate, or warm bread, or chewy cookies, or ice cream. I don’t know about you, but I get defensive when someone suggests I change my comfort food consumption & when someone messes with my Macaroni & Cheese I get real nervous, real fast. However, a friend of mine sent me this recipe the other day, & feeling adventuresome, I tried it. I feel confident in suggesting that you could consider adding this to your list of fall or winter favorites!
Maybe one of your new favorite comfort foods…(notice how gently I worded that?)
Cavatappi & Butternut Squash Cheese Bake Supreme
(long name I know – but it’s worth it & you can always call it Macaroni & Cheese with Squash)
- 3 cups mashed up squash
- 8 oz. cooked cavatappi pasta
- 2 T butter
- 8 oz. sliced mushrooms
- 1/4 c green onions thinly sliced
- 2 T flour
- 1 cup milk
- 8 oz. sharp shredded cheese
- 3 slices bacon cooked crisp & crumbled
- Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees & find your 9 x 11 inch baking dish.
- Cook & mash the squash – then cook & drain the pasta.
- Melt the butter in a large pan & sauté the onions & mushrooms until tender.
- Sprinkle in the flour & stir to coat then add the milk & stir until thickened. This is also where you can add salt & pepper to taste.
- Pour this mixture into a large bowl & gently fold in the mashed squash. Also add the cavatappi here & stir to mix.
- Transfer half the mixture into the baking dish & sprinkle with half the shredded cheese. Add the rest of the pasta mix & sprinkle again with the rest of the cheese. Top with bacon crumbles.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until heated through & the cheese is melted.
- You can garnish with more green onions.
- Makes 6 to 8 servings.
This is slightly more healthy than the Old Fashion Macaroni & Cheese that your mom used to make & I don’t mean from the BOX! This dish is warm, creamy & yummy but has more nutrients with the added squash, plus more fiber, & less cheese = less fat. Use skim milk & forget the bacon & it almost qualifies as a health food. But that might just defeat the whole purpose of eating a comfort food in the first place.
Great comfort foods should occasionally be indulged in, even overindulged in a bit now & again. I believe that each season needs its own specific comfort foods & I have my own personal list, but I’d love to hear about yours. Send me your favorites or even a recipe or two. I always try to be open to new ideas….sometimes.
Here’s a toast for your next lovely meal…
May your joys be as deep as the ocean, & your misfortunes as light as its foam.
Me…I’m off to find some more comfort!!!
PS…Check out the November Booklist on the right…