Monday, September 30, 2013

Avocado Macaroni & Cheese

Good Morning and Happy Monday! I hope you are all having a great day! The weather's on the gloomy side here on the island, but it's still a great day. I've taught three classes this morning and I'm about to head out for a shower and lunch. Before I do that, I wanted to share a recipe that I tried out a few weeks ago.
No, the title was not a typo. I really did mean to put the word Avocado in front of the Macaroni & Cheese part. If you don't believe me, just look at this green concoction...
Let me explain... When guests check out of their rental homes, they sometimes leave behind the uneaten food that they didn't eat. Sometimes they leave behind gross partially eaten things but that is another story in itself.
These two avocados were left behind. And these are $1.39 each at my grocery store, so they were definitely not going into the trash! I got brainstorming and decided that I wanted to use the smooth, buttery taste of these avocados in a pasta dish. Avocado Macaroni & Cheese it was!
10 ounces dry whole wheat or whole grain elbow macaroni
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 avocados, peeled and pitted (you could easily use just one avocado)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about one lime)
1/3 cup fresh cilantro
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
1 cup milk (I used light soy)
1 1/2 - 2 cups shredded cheese (Pepper Jack or Monterey Jack would be great)
Bring water to a boil in a large pot and cook pasta as directed on package. Drain and set aside.
While the pasta is cooking, place the garlic, avocados, lime juice, cilantro, salt, and pepper in a food processor and pulse until smooth and creamy. Set the avocado sauce aside.

In a separate pot, make the cheese sauce. Place the butter in a small saucepan and heat over medium. Once the butter is melted, whisk in the flour and make a roux. Whisk in the milk until smooth. Stir until the sauce starts to thicken. Add the cheese and stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is creamy.
Place the macaroni in a large bowl. Pour the avocado sauce over the pasta and stir until well combined. Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta and stir until the past is well coated. Add more salt and pepper if needed. Serve warm.

Portion out into one-cup servings and enjoy!

This dish is best enjoyed the day it is made. The lime juice helps to keep this mac-n-cheese green. After a day, the avocado will turn brown (naturally) which is not really visually appetizing :) But it's still totally tasty as a leftover.
It's another busy week for me. We're hosting an American Red Cross Blood Drive at work tomorrow and I volunteered to bake something. Any ideas?
What's your favorite thing to bake for an event or fundraiser?

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