This Cooking Light recipe is worth repeating at least once in my family, if for no reason other than to get my kiddos to eat more vegetables. I found it to be a healthier version of comfort food, one that I enjoyed eating the leftovers. My kiddos required a bit of convincing, but I think that was more of the toddler aspect of "I want pancakes for every meal."
My version modified the process slightly but not the ingredients.
Broccoli Bacon Mac 'n' Cheese
2 slices bacon, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups unsalted chicken stock
1 cup low-fat milk
10 oz. frozen butternut squash puree, thawed
10 oz. elbow macaroni
3 cups chopped broccoli florets
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
5 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until crispy. Add garlic, and saute 30 seconds. Add stock, milk and squash, and bring to a boil while stirring occasionally. Add pasta and broccoli, cover and reduce heat. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pasta and broccoli are done and sauce is thickened. (I actually added water to ensure enough liquid as it cooked.)
Stir in salt, pepper and cheese. Serves 6.