I love twists on traditional recipes, and this is a fun one. Sweet Potatoes add a healthful kick to Mac and Cheese, a kid-favorite meal. The ingredient that makes this recipe unique is Dr. Praeger’s Sweet Potato pancakes. If you haven’t heard of Dr. Praeger’s, their line of healthful snacks and meals are available at your local grocery store and contain no artificial colors or flavors, and are low in cholesterol and saturated fats.
- 1 lb. cooked elbow macaroni (about 7 cups)
- 2 ½ cups 2 % milk
- cup flour
- 2 teaspoons mustard powder
- teaspoon salt, divided
- teaspoon cayenne pepper, divided
- 4 Dr. Praeger’s Sweet Potato Pancakes, defrosted, uncooked and crumbled
- 6 oz. (1 ½ cups) grated reduced-fat cheddar cheese
- 3 oz. (¾ cup) grated reduced-fat Swiss or Gruyere cheese
- 1 cup whole-grain bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Spray a 9-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Combine milk, flour, mustard powder, half of cayenne pepper and half of salt in a 4-quart saucepan and whisk until flour is dissolved. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer and whisk, stirring, until mixture thickens, about 5 minutes.
- Add Dr. Praeger’s Sweet Potato Pancakes to mixture and whisk until smooth. Add cheese and stir until melted and mixture has thickened, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add pasta to cheese mixture and stir to combine; put into reserved baking dish.
- Combine bread crumbs, olive oil, and remaining salt and cayenne pepper; sprinkle mixture evenly over pasta.
- Bake until bread crumbs are browned and pasta is bubbling, 45 to 50 minutes.
Healthy Lunchbox Day
Dr. Praeger’s believes giving children healthy food options as well as teaching them how to make healthy choices for themselves is important, that’s why they are launching the Healthy Lunchbox initiative. Dr. Praeger’s challenges you to pack a veggie-rich lunch at least once a week (That doesn’t mean you need to skimp on veggies the rest of the week! But focus the meal around veggies for that day).
Dr. Praeger’s offers all-natural, delicious and nutrient-rich options that are not only a great way for kids to eat healthy, but the adults love the options too. I’m craving some falafel flats or broccoli bites right now, yum.
My husband and four year old son are the picky eaters in our family and I struggle to find healthful meals that everyone will enjoy and eat. I try to instill healthy eating habits for both my husband and son by providing a healthy, balanced meal and leading by example. Since I know they are not eating enough veggies, I try to sneak them in whenever I can, like this BBQ Chicken topped Baked Potato with Hidden Cauliflower Mash or adding some sauteed veggies in this pizza braid.
What are your tricks to getting your kids to eat veggies? What are your favorite healthy recipes that they enjoy too?
(I am involved in a sponsored campaign to get the word out about Healthy Lunchbox Day!)