When I say the fastest, I mean easy and quick is the goal here. If you’re looking for the fanciest, the best, or the healthiest… well, I did say fastest.
I try to prepare filling home cooked meals (with vegetables) to bring to work with me for lunch. Sometimes I spend an hour or two on the weekend prepping high-quality, creative and healthy meals for the week. Sometimes I spend the whole weekend having fun and find myself looking for a quick fix Monday morning that isn’t a sad sandwich or fast food.
In these situations, I’m a big fan of the half-homemade strategy: take some canned, boxed or frozen food and give it a little something extra so you feel like you’re taking care of yourself (and having more fun).
Therefore, behold: quick pumpkin mac. The only ingredients are your favorite boxed mac and cheese (I used Annie’s, specifically ‘bunnies with yummy cheese’), a can of cooked pumpkin puree (just pumpkin, NOT pie filling!), butter, salt, milk (can replace with water in a pinch) and fresh rosemary. I also added cinnamon, cayenne and nutmeg but you can get creative with whatever you have lying around.
- cook pasta as indicated on box, strain, set aside
- melt 1 tbsp butter in a saucepan on medium and add a few sprigs of fresh rosemary
- add pumpkin, salt and spices (I used 1/2 tsp cayenne, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp nutmeg)
- when the pumpkin is hot, stir in 1/2 cup of any milk (more or less depending on how you want the consistency of the sauce of be) or water if you have no milk but if you use water I’d double the butter
- add cheese packet, stir until evenly distributed
Voila! Put it in a nice bowl, add a bit of spinach and everyone at work will think you’re a gourmet. 😉