Try this fab recipe from our guest blogger,  Amy Cowley, @Mommy_And_Mabel_

Loaded Veggie Mac & Cheese

In our house, we like to add vegetables to anything we possibly can and, more often than not, we find that most recipes taste all the better for the healthy addition. Mac & Cheese is no exception. This classic recipe is updated with the addition of mushrooms, broccoli, carrots and a few other surprise ingredients to really make the flavours pop. This is a favourite with 14 month old Mabel, but also with our whole family. No one misses the salt as there are so many other delights for the taste buds. A healthy, balanced meal which is easy to prepare and provides leftovers for the next few days – winner!

(Makes enough for around 4 baby portions)

Ingredients:

50g macaroni
75g chestnut mushrooms
75g broccoli
1 carrot
½ spring onion
1 garlic clove
1 tbsp fresh parsley
1 ½ tsp unsalted butter
1 tsp flour
4 tbsp whole milk
100g cheddar cheese, grated
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp black pepper

Method:

Cook the macaroni in boiling water, as per packet instructions.

Meanwhile, finely chop the mushrooms, broccoli, spring onion, garlic and parsley. Grate the carrot and add all of the above into a pan with ½ tsp of the butter.

Let the vegetable medley cook in the melted butter for about 10 minutes, until it is fully softened and the flavours have started to mix together. Then empty the cooked veg into a bowl and leave to one side for later.

To the same pan the vegetables were just cooking in, add the rest of the butter and melt before adding the flour. Give this a good stir and leave to cook for a minute until the raw flour taste has been cooked away.

Now add the milk, 1 tbsp at a time, whisking as you go, until you have a thick white sauce. If it is too thick or clumpy, just add slightly more milk, but do it slowly as you don’t want your sauce to get too thin.

Once you have your desired sauce consistency, add in your grated cheese and stir until it’s melted and combined.

Next add in the nutmeg and pepper, taste to check if it needs anything else and then add back in your cooked vegetables.

To this, add the cooked and drained macaroni and stir everything to combine. Serve this warm so the cheese sauce stays nice and soft and melted.

You could throw any vegetables into this to mix things up – spinach, peas and green beans would all be delicious!

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