There are things I miss about living in an urban area. I miss having everything at your finger tips, (like a target that is less than an hour away or a whole foods that is less than three) I miss being close to my friends, (most of which are still in Chicago) and I miss the culture that surrounds urban areas.
What I don’t miss are the people. I drove up to Chicago last Friday night and I sat at a dead halt for a half an hour on an interchange. Everywhere I went, there were people. While this isn’t always a bad thing, sometimes I need to be alone- especially when it comes to being alone in nature.
I love being able to head out on a trail and know that most likely no one else will be around. True peace and quite. I’ve grown accustom to the slower pace of life and while I miss aspects of living in an urban area, I feel less stressed.
I also love food that makes me less stressed. I had the apple pie yesterday and today I have mac and cheese. Awhile back ago I shared my favorite go-to quick mac and cheese. This version is similar only with the addition of pureed butternut squash.
The squash not only adds a bit of healthiness to an otherwise slightly unhealthy meal but also adds a bit of earthiness to the creaminess (which I love!) It also doesn’t hurt that the color of the squash makes it look extra creamy and cheesy!
Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
- 2 cup butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 2 tablespoons vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 tablespoon butter
- 1 1/2 tablespoon flour
- pinches salt, pepper, and garlic
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 10 ounces pasta
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and add butternut squash. Cook until squash is softened and drained. Place in a food processor, add broth, and pulse until mixture is smooth. Set aside.
- Prepare pasta according to box (or how you normally do it!) Drain and set aside.
- In a small pan, heat butter over medium-low heat until melted. Whisk in flour and let cook for 1-2 minutes. Whisk in milk, butternut squash, salt, pepper, and garlic. Continue to whisk until the mixture begins to thicken (1-2 more minutes). Once thickened, remove from the burner and mix in cheese, continuing to whisk until melted (if the sauce seems too thick, add a little more milk.) Stir into pasta and serve.
by Erin Alderson