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Sweet Potato Mac & Cheese

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A classic comfort food, macaroni & cheese, turned healthier! No fancy ingredients or long procedures; ready to eat in under 20 minutes!

Sweet-Potato-Mac-&-Cheese-Tall

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.

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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!

Sweet-Potato-Mac-&-Cheese-Fork

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!

Sweet-Potato-Mac-&-Cheese-Square

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!

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Sweet Potato Mac & Cheese

This 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)
Directions
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Add the cheese and the nutritional yeast, and stir until melted.
  5. When the sauce is smooth, stir the cooked sweet potato into the cheese sauce. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
  6. Serve warm. This mac & cheese is best fresh.
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About Kristin

I have always loved to cook, and have been eating and cooking gluten free since 2007. I aim to make delicious, frugal and healthy meals that will be appealing to GF and non-GF eaters alike!

11 responses »

  1. This looks great, Kristin. I’m not a fan of traditional Mac n Cheese but I think I would like this version.:)

    Reply
    • Lucky you, not really liking regular Mac & Cheese! (I’ve had that blessing with soda, it’s never really appealed to me and I’m glad it’s so easy to avoid an unhealthy food) Thanks for the compliment 🙂

      Reply
  2. Can I use regular flour? If I do, do I still stir it in the pan until it’s tan and then add the milk?

    Reply
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  6. I actually tried this recipe (the concept sounded great), but unfortunately it’s the worst recipe I’ve come across in a very long time. I followed all the instructions and have a spiralizer to do the job with the potatoes. But this dish is absolutely tasteless.

    The potatoes are far from being cooked after 5 minutes stirring in a pan. They are actually unhealthy to eat uncooked. Leaving them longer improves them a bit, but will also diminish their noodle shape. After 30 minutes they were still not cooked.

    The sauce doesn’t taste like anything at all. It’s flour sauce. There is so much flour that the cheese + nutritional yeast + salt can’t overpower it. Even after adding 3,5 times more cheese (!) it’s still far from tasting anything like cheese.

    Even my boyfriend, who is the easiest eater ever, could not finish the mush on his plate.

    This was a waste of time, energy and ingredients.

    Reply
    • Complete waste of organic ingredients. This is the most disgusting thing my husband and I have ever made. The “sauce” is like nasty paper mache paste. I don’t even know how to describe the taste other than it was like some nasty flour paste. You couldn’t even taste the cheese even after I foubled it It was so repulsive we could only eat 1 bite each. I guess we are going to bed hungry tonight. A crappy end to a crappy day.

      Reply
  7. Magnificent web site. A lot of useful information here. I am sending it to some friends ans also sharing in delicious. And of course, thanks for your sweat!

    Reply
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  9. Hubby not a big fan of sweet potato could I use regular potato or can you suggest another veggie? Also I usually use potato flour would that work?

    Reply

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