This is a nutritionally enhanced version of my stepmother’s delicious recipe from Finland. When I mixed in the cauliflower/zucchini puree, which melted away in the familiar creaminess of the cheese, the kids didn’t notice any difference from the original mac n cheese. Another great distraction is the crunchy topping, which not only adds a good dose of whole grains, but also became my kids’ favorite part of the casserole. Start at 1/4 cup of the Sneaky Chef White Puree in this recipe and gradually increase it to 1/2 cup over time.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook according to the package directions, until firm and slightly undercooked. Drain and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk the milk with the White Puree and salt. (If using eggs, whisk them in with the milk mixture.) Put half of the macaroni into the baking pan and top with half the cheddar (or colby) cheese. Next, layer with the rest of the macaroni, and then pour the milk mixture over the top, finishing with the last of the cheese on top.
Boil or steam carrots and sweet potatoes for about 20 minutes, until carrots are very tender. Drain and place in food processor with 2 to 3 tablespoons of water. Puree on high until smooth—no pieces of vegetables showing. Puree keeps for 3 days in refrigerator or 3 months in freezer.
Using a rolling pin, gently crush cereal (in a sealed plastic bag) to coarsely crushed flakes. Alternatively, you can quickly pulse the cereal in a food processor. Add wheat germ and Parmesan to the bag and shake to mix. Sprinkle crumb mixture on top of macaroni and cheese and dot with butter. Bake casserole 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden and bubbling.