Fall is here (according to the calendar- not the weather if you’re in Florida like we are!)! That means Thanksgiving and ultimately Christmas aren’t far behind! What two things do these amazingly awesome holidays bring? 1. food and 2. more food….While most of us have the mindset of “It’s the Holidays, I can work it all off after they’re over.”
We here at Pulse believe there are so many alternative ways to make yummy, very bad for you foods healthier by providing recipes that won’t land you in the hospital one day wondering where in the world the heart attack came from.
This is just one of many recipes we plan to provide you for your Fall/Christmas extravaganzas! This is a favorite because it minimizes the carbs and adds lots of veggies. You can use whatever cheese you prefer, but we suggest low-fat cheddar. You can also double this recipe for extra leftovers or for more people!
1 cup broccoli florets
1/2 red pepper, diced
1 yellow squash, quartered and diced
10 baby carrots, sliced thinly
2 cups whole wheat pasta (elbow macaroni, rotini, penne, etc.)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups skim milk
2 cups (8 oz.) low fat cheddar
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp. panko breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Set a medium pot of salted water to boil. Prepare a large baking sheet by lining with aluminum foil and coating with a little olive oil or nonstick cooking spray.
Toss broccoli, red pepper, squash and carrots onto the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, or until vegetables have softened. Remove from oven and set aside.
Once water is boiling, lower heat slightly and add pasta, cooking according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add garlic and cook 30 seconds. Whisk in flour and cook 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk, stirring constantly until mixture is slightly thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in cheddar cheese until well distributed and melted. Add red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Add macaroni and vegetables.
Place mixture in a large casserole dish and sprinkle with panko breadcrumbs. Place under the broiler in your oven (500 degrees) for 3-4 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.