Macaroni and cheese can be delicious and healthy. One of my daughter’s friends told her mom, “It was so sweet.” Little did she know that the sweetness and slight orange color came from carrots. The lima beans go unnoticed when they’re blended into the cheese sauce with the carrots. It’s a thrill to see our kids asking for seconds of lima beans and carrots, even though they think they’re asking for more macaroni and cheese. Now that our daughters are older they can handle the “whole truth” about the ingredients and still enjoy the flavor. This recipe does take time, and you need cooked lima beans on hand, but it’s a wonderful lunch or leftover supper the second day.
12 oz. whole-wheat, enriched, or “Vegas” elbows
1 tablespoon butter
4 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups milk
8 oz. cheddar, cut into small pieces
1 cup cooked lima beans
2 carrots, sliced and steamed until tender
Cook the elbows according to the package directions. Drain in colander.
Melt the butter in a large pot. Mix in the flour and salt over low heat.
Blend the cooked carrots, lima beans, and milk in a blender. Add this to the butter mixture. Stirring constantly, add cheese. Cook over low heat until the cheese is melted.
Remove the sauce from the heat and add the macaroni. Stir well.
You can serve the macaroni at this stage. If you prefer a crunchy crust, place the mixture in a 2-qt. casserole and bake it for 25–30 minutes at 350°, until lightly browned.