A classic comfort food, macaroni & cheese, turned healthier! No fancy ingredients or long procedures; ready to eat in under 20 minutes!
Guys, I had so much fun working on this recipe! Mac & Cheese is one of my favorite foods. I may or may not have a stash of Annie’s and Trader’s Joes GF boxed mac and cheese hidden in my cabinets. It’s just there in case I’m too sick to cook, need a last minute meal, or just have a craving for comfort food. Sometimes I’m just in a mac & cheese mood and want something creamy and cheesy. I do love a good bowl of macaroni and cheese.
I rarely, rarely, eat mac & cheese though, despite how delicious it is. It’s unhealthy! And I’m all about giving my body fuel, not empty calories. I’m just not one of those people who can justify eating a big bowl of mac & cheese by saying “oh, it’s full of calcium”. It’s gotta be decently healthy for me to call it healthy!
With no butter, no cream, no wheat or gluten, less than a tablespoon of oil, and a whopping 1/4 c of cheese (a totally appropriate serving size for cheese) this is not full of bad stuff! Since the noodles are made from sweet potato you’re not only avoiding the normal bad stuff in mac & cheese, but adding good things! Sweet potatoes are good carbs, high in fiber and antioxidants, and a good source of a number of other vitamins and minerals. I’ll be eating mac & cheese a lot more, now that I have a way to get in some nutrients while I eat it!
FYI you don’t need a fancy spiralizer to make this sweet potato noodles. If you have one, it will make quick work of turning a sweet potato into pasta, but there are other options. Prior to getting fancy vegetable noodle making equipment I made sweet potato noodles with a regular vegetable peeler, similar to these carrot noodles. The noodles weren’t pretty, but they worked! Other options are a julienne peeler or a mandolin with a julienne setting. You could even cut the sweet potato noodles by hand!
The key to making the healthier cheese sauce is to dry out the GF flour. It seems strange, stirring a saucepan with only flour in it, but just go with it. When you see the flour turn a tan color it’s time to add the milk. From there it cooks up like a normal sauce. Just whisk out any lumps and then stir in the cheese. Add the sweet potato to the sauce and your mac & cheese it done!
Sweet Potato Mac & CheeseThis recipe makes 1 serving, ideal for a quick healthy lunch or dinner for one, but can easily be multiplied to feed more than one person. Ingredients
- 1 medium sized sweet potato, peeled (I pick one in the 8-12 oz range, depending on what sauce to sweet potato ratio I want)
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 3 Tbs gluten free all purpose flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
- 3/4 c milk (I use almond milk)
- 1/4 c shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 Tbs nutritional yeast (optional)
- Make the sweet potato noodles using a mandolin, spiralizer, julienne peeler. You could also cut the sweet potato into thin, noodle-like strips by hand.
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. When the oil is warm, add the sweet potato. Cook the sweet potato, stirring frequently, until the “noodles” have softened. I takes about 5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the noodles. Set the cooked noodles aside.
- Add the flour to a small saucepan and turn the burner onto medium. Stir the flour continuously. Watch closely for the color of the flour to change. The flour will darken in color and resemble sand. It goes from white to sandy quickly, so don’t look away for long! When you see this color change, add the milk and whisk to get out any lumps.
- Add the cheese and the nutritional yeast, and stir until melted.
- When the sauce is smooth, stir the cooked sweet potato into the cheese sauce. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
- Serve warm. This mac & cheese is best fresh.