Thursday, January 21, 2016

Mac & More {Recipe ReDux}

My recipe testing for this week didn't go as planned. I fell ill on the weekend and thus fell behind on my week. I was inspired to try nutritional yeast, but since it's a new ingredient to me, I wasn't even sure where to start. I went to the closest health food store and had to ask, but they did have it. Since I was running short on time, I purchased it. When I got home, I realized that the brand I bought doesn't say much about its nutritional value beyond the standard nutrition facts panel, so I was a little disappointed. Some nutritional yeasts are fortified with vitamin B12, and it can be a good source of B vitamins, but all I can really tell about mine is that it's an excellent source of iron and relatively high in protein and fibre. I feel that a little marketing could go a long way on something like this. I prefer food over pills and powders and there are many ways to up the nutritional value of your recipes with items like nutritional yeast, but many people don't know what it is. It has many uses so I am excited to continue to play with it in my kitchen.

You may be wondering, but I was looking for a new ingredient, because this month's theme was A New Ingredient for the New Year: Pick a new ingredient that you’ve been wanting to try… and cook or bake up a new recipe in the new year. Show us how you’re cooking with something new (to you!) in 2016.
There are quite a few ingredients I have yet to play with and I look forward to seeing the other posts (see links below). I was inspired because we're continuing to introduce foods to our 14 month old, who did love most things and is gradually becoming pickier. I also mentioned squash mac and cheese to my kd loving husband and he was skeptical, so I though the cheesy taste of nutritional yeast would be a good addition to an attempt at squash mac and cheese.  Our daughter already loves cheese, but veggies can be a harder sell, perhaps until she has more teeth and can enjoy them raw too, so I also wanted to add some red pepper for extra flavour and nutritional value. It was a rushed week, so feel free to let me know if you'd tweak the recipe and I know the photos aren't my best (shot mostly at night). My husband approved it, so that was a good start!
Mac & More
Serves 4-6

1/2 red pepper, washed, cut in half
1 medium butternut squash, washed, peeled, and cut into 1-2 inch cubes
1/4 - 1/3 cup onion, I used 1 small white, washed, peeled, and roughly chopped
1 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper
340g small pasta (I used whole wheat macaroni)
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp all purpose flour
1 cup milk (I used 1%)
4 Tbsp nutritional yeast
salt and pepper

1. Heat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spread red pepper (I roasted the whole pepper), squash and onion, drizzle with olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper. Roast for about 30 minutes, until the red pepper is slightly charred. Set aside to cool.
2. Cook pasta according to directions. Drain and set aside.
3. Combine butternut squash (you want 1 cup pureed) with red pepper in a blender until smooth.
3. Meanwhile prepare your roux: Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Melt butter, whisk in flour until combined. Slowly add in milk, continually whisking until smooth. Add nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper (to taste). Continue to whisk until thickened. Add the pureed vegetables and stir to combine.

  4. Mix in pasta until coated.
5. Serve immediately. Option to garnish with shredded cheese and/or parsley.

Stay well and get adventurous with new ingredients!
Steph Langdon, RD