Despite the fact that I blog about food, I love to watch cooking television shows as well!
Some of my favorites include Bitchin' Kitchen, Good Eats, Top Chef, and Giada at Home. Giada was one of the first shows I watched when I started cooking and baking, and she is a huge inspiration for me to this day. She actually inspired today's recipe.
She did a show a while back that showed viewers how to have fun with their kids in the kitchen. Her Mac and Cheese Cups stood out to me as something I could take and make even healthier for my little girls.
By adding spaghetti squash in place of the noodles, these vegetable-packed cupcakes are a savory treat for both kids and adults. Check out my one-year old munching on the broccoli from one of the cupcakes.
Both my girls adored these and asked for more!
....yummy, sneaky broccoli...hehe.
No-Pasta Mac and Cheese Cupcakes
- 4 t. olive oil divided
- ¼ c. yellow onion chopped fine
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 c. broccoli chopped into bite-size pieces
- ½ c. tomato chopped
- ¼ c. green peas washed and drained
- 2 cups prepared spaghetti squash noodles blotted dry
- 1 egg optional (these will work without the egg, but they hold together better with it)
- 1 c. cheese any kind that you can tolerate (I like extra sharp cheddar or goat cheddar)
- ¼ c. + 3 T. parmesan cheese grated
- 6 T. almond meal
- ½ t. salt
- a few grinds of black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a skillet.
- Add the onion and garlic with a bit of salt, and saute 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in the broccoli, and saute for 5 minutes.
- Add tomatoes and peas, and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Continue heating the mix until the majority of the moisture is dissolved.
- Turn heat off.
- Stir in the spaghetti squash noodles, making sure that everything is mixed well (it's important that the noodles are dried well, as the cupcakes will bake better and not be soggy).
- Season the mix with salt and pepper.
- Allow the entire mix to cool (this is helped by transferring everything to a bowl).
- In a separate small bowl, whisk the egg (if using).
- Mix in the cheddar cheese and 1/4 cup of the parmesan.
- Pour the egg/cheese mixture into the veggie bowl, and stir everything until well combined.
- Oil a muffin tin using either a cooking spray or an oiled napkin, and sprinkle almond meal (about 1 teaspoon) into each muffin cup to coat it (alternatively, you could also use muffin cups, which I did for some).
- Fill the muffin cups as full as you'd like without them overflowing (I got 9 cupcakes).
- Top each with about 1 teaspoon of almond meal, 1 teaspoon of parmesan, and a drizzle of olive oil.
- Bake the cupcakes for 15 minutes on the bottom rack of the oven.
- Replace them on the top rack, and bake for another 7 minutes.
- At the end of 7 minutes, crank the oven to 'broil' and let them bake for 1-2 minutes, just until the tops are golden. Be sure to watch them carefully!
- Cool and serve!
Inspired by this recipe
These get a nice golden crust on the outside, while staying creamy and cheesy on the inside...
Healthfully filling, deliciously satisfying, and low carb to boot!
What's your favorite kid-friendly meal?
I'm always on the lookout for new ideas, since my 3-year-old is so hard to please!