Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Trying out Deceptively Delicious

Okay so it's been a while (a long while) since I've posted. I was supposed to be doing a comfort food series which totally tanked. Oh well. We've been super busy around here but I have been trying new things, just not posting about them.
Update on the dress project: it's way harder than it looks to make a dress from scratch. I pieced everything together, thought I was almost finished but my fitting keeps coming out wrong. So this project has been put on hold until I gain more patience.
In the meantime I have been working on something a little less complicated. As a shower gift I received Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld. Basically it's a book of normal recipes that add vegetable and fruit purees to normal foods. I've heard good things about it, so once the bear got big enough to start eating table foods, I knew I had to try. So far we've tried french toast, oatmeal (a big hit), grilled cheese, and mac and cheese.
The little man has really enjoyed all the recipes and so have the hubby and me. We've made the oatmeal which uses canned pumpkin several times. Yum!
I knew I wanted to start small when it came to purees, so when cauliflower went on sale I figured it was the time to start.

So here it is, my adventure into purees and the resulting mac and cheese.
The book outlines how to do the puree which is relatively easy so until I have pictures documenting how to do the purees, I'll skip this step.

Here's the mac and cheese recipe.
1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni (I used whole wheat spiral pasta)
Nonstick cooking spray
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. non-fat (skim) milk (I used 2% cause it's what we had)
1/2 c. butternut squash or cauliflower puree
1 1/2. shredded cheddar cheese
4 oz. cream cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. paprika
1/8 tsp. pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions. This is also a good time to defrost your puree if using it from frozen.
My frozen cauliflower puree. I used "Fresh Baby" trays but ice cube trays work too. Five cubes is 1/2 cup.
While the pasta cooks, coat a large saucepan with cooking spray and heat over medium high heat. Add the oil, then the flour, and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture resembles a thick paste but has not browned, 1 to 2 minutes. **Be sure to cook this the whole time suggested. I didn't and the final product tasted to flour-y.

Add the milk and cook, stirring every now and then, until the mixture begins to thicken, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the vegetable puree, cheeses, and seasonings, and stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. Stir in macaroni and serve warm.
Final creamy product
A few notes, like I said make sure you really follow the step about the flour. All in all the little bear liked it a lot. I fix a lot of mac and cheese for his lunches so I'm really glad I found a recipe that adds a little extra nutrition.
You can judge for yourself, but I think he enjoyed it.