These Sweet Potato Noodles with Basil Cheese Sauce are an adult twist on a childhood favorite: mac & cheese.
If you ask my parents what my favorite meal was as a kid, they’d answer in an instant, “pasta with homemade cheese sauce.” In general, I was a bit of a pasta addict. I’m estimating that at least 30% of my body was made of mac ’n cheese at one point.
But alas, man can not survive on pasta alone, a hard lesson my 10-year-old self had to learn. Since those days, I’ve obviously incorporated many-a-veggie into my diet. I also let the pendulum swing into unhealthy restrictive extremes where I wouldn’t touch a noodle or slice of cheese for years. But I think I’ve finally found that happy medium where pasta is a welcome treat and cheese sauce is back in the rotation.
This dish is an ode to my 10-year-old self, that proves you can enjoy a little cheese sauce and veggies at the same time. It proves that healthy food doesn’t have to be one dimensional or fit into a diet label if you don’t want it to.
I think it’s important to acknowledge that finding a what healthy looks and feels like to your life isn’t always an easy journey. When there are so many extremes promoted, it’s easy to feel guilt when you don’t fit into a food label. When I was making this recipe I started to feel bad that it wasn’t vegan, paleo or gluten-free. Was it even healthy? I had to stop myself and remember that just because something doesn’t fit square into a label, doesn’t mean it can’t fit into a healthy lifestyle.
I know personally I could live without cheese, however I still really like cheese. For me, the less I try to restrict a food group, the less I crave it. Which means extreme diet styles don’t work for me, because they often backfire or become obsessions. But that’s just me. The most important thing is to know yourself and know that you don’t have to explain or apologize for decisions that make you feel healthy and happy both physically and mentally.
So if you like cheese and veggies or want a grown up version of your favorite mac ’n cheese as a kid, then this dish is definitely for you!
[Tweet “Veggie noodles never looked so good: Sweet Potato Noodles with Cheese Sauce”]
- 2 Sweet Potatoes, peeled
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 1 tablespoon of flour
- 1 cup of 2% milk
- 1 cup of cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 tablespoon of fresh basil, chopped
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- For sweet potato noodles: peel sweet potatoes and spiralize them using the "thick noodle" blade
- In a large sauté pan cook sweet potatoes with a tablespoon of olive oil and a ¼ teaspoon of salt for 15 minutes
- Meanwhile for the cheese sauce, in a saucepan melt a tablespoon of butter on medium heat then add a tablespoon of flour and stir until the flour absorbs the butter
- Slowly add milk while stirring the flour butter mixture, allow milk to be absorbed before adding more until all of the milk is combined
- Continue to stir over medium heat while the sauce thickens for about 8 minutes then add the grated cheese and stir
- Finally add the tablespoon of chopped basil and mix until well combined.
- Once the noodles and sauce are done, divide into 3 bowls
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- What was your favorite food as a kid?