Veggie Bow Ties and Cheese

I don't think there is a better comfort food than macaroni and cheese. It's got everything you want when you are feeling under the weather or needing a bit of soul food. Cheesy, carb loaded and buttery it is always my go to when I am needing a little extra comfort. 

What if you could take the comfort of macaroni and cheese, but lighten it up so that you are also eating good for you ingredients? That's what I set out to accomplish when I played around with a veggie loaded macaroni and cheese. The result is fantastic! I get the cheesy comfort that I crave while reducing the carbs and calories by adding tons of vegetables! I used broccoli, celery, cauliflower, carrot and onion but you could use whatever veggies you would like ( or have left in the fridge)! And as some added fun, I used bow tie pasta instead of macaroni because they are so cute! :)

Give the recipe a try and let me know what you think! 

Veggie Bow Ties and Cheese

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower, broken into bite sized pieces 
  • 1 head broccoli, broken into bite sized pieces
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon Djon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup milk ( can use a nut milk)
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup bow tie or macaroni pasta
  • salt and pepper to taste 

Procedure

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta according to package directions. About 5 minutes before pasta is done, add all veggies except for onion and celery into boiling water with pasta. Drain and put pasta and veggie mixture into a greased 8x8 casserole dish. 

In a skillet over medium heat, saute onion and celery in a little oil until onion is soft. Add in butter and melt. Add in flour and stir until well blended. Slowly add in broth and milk and bring to a boil. Cook until thick. Add cheese, mustard, thyme, paprika. Once cheese is melted, pour over veggie mixture and stir to combine. Bake in oven for 15 minutes until hot.