Why do the good seasons always fly by in the blink of an eye? While I LOVE October, its arrival just means we are that much closer to winter and I don’t like that one bit! The silver lining is that pumpkin everything is in full effect. One of my favorite things about fall is that you can add pumpkin to anything and no one questions it. Imagine my delight when I realized that one of chobani’s limited batch flavors for fall was pumpkin spice. It’s basically a slightly tart, creamy pumpkin pie filling in a cup (sans crust). Okay, maybe that description isn’t selling you, but it’s delicious, trust me! If you like pumpkin pie but can’t afford the calories, this is your answer. Act fast though, I’m not sure how much longer it will be in stores.
My normal menu writing schedule has been a little off lately, so I’ve been pulling together meals on the fly. My mum just picked the last of her vegetables from the garden, so I decided to make some Roasted Vegetable Mac and Cheese from The Comfort of Cooking. It’s a pretty quick and easy dish to make and its a huge crowd pleaser. My brother, who claims to “hate cooked vegetables”, came back for seconds. It’s also a perfect throw together meal because you can use whatever vegetables you have on hand. This time I threw in broccoli, red peppers, yellow squash, baby zucchini, carrots and tomatoes. You could even throw in some pumpkin if you were so inclined!
Yield: 6 servings
1 cup broccoli florets, chopped into small chunks
1/2 red pepper, diced
1 yellow squash, quartered and diced
5 carrots, diced
2 cups whole wheat pasta
1/4 cup olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups skim milk
2 cups (8 oz.)shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper, to taste
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.
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.