Edible Alphabet is a free English Language Learning (ELL) program offered by the Free Library's Culinary Literacy Center. The mission is to teach English language and literacy skills through hands-on cooking projects. For the time being, all Edible Alphabet classes are being run virtually in the interest of public health and safety. During weeks when virtual classes are on break, we will be sharing weekly recipes from our class curriculum and participants.
This week, I’m sharing another Edible Alphabet recipe we made in our most recent (and virtual) English course: Veggie Mac and Cheese. This recipe is popular for participants looking for a healthier spin on the U.S. American classic comfort dish, as well as with parents looking to incorporate more vegetables into their family meals. As we head back to (virtual) school and the weather cools, this dish will definitely make its way back into my monthly rotation.
Speaking of getting back to school, the Free Library has lots of resources available virtually to support learners of all ages. Our homework helpline, Tutor.com, which is free to use for anyone with a library card, is one resource I think will be especially helpful to learners this fall. Tutor.com provides free live online tutoring in English and Spanish for elementary to college students, as well as adult learners, 7 days a week from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Tutor.com also provides support to English language learners at all ages.
If you would like to head back to school with Edible Alphabet this fall, we still have a few spots available in our classes that start in mid-September—register now!
Veggie Mac and Cheese
- 1 lb. elbow macaroni
- ¼ cauliflower
- 1 large carrot
- 1 small butternut squash (about 1 ½ cups)
- ½ cup vegetable broth
- 2 cups milk
- 8 oz. cheddar cheese
- 4 oz. cream cheese
- 1 oz. parmesan cheese
- 1 oz. mozzarella cheese
- Black pepper
- Heat a large pot of water on high until boiling.
- Add salt and pasta to the boiling water and cook for 8-10 minutes (until al dente). Drain pasta in a colander and rinse with cold water.
- Peel and seed butternut squash. Chop into small pieces.
- Peel and chop carrot into rounds.
- Chop cauliflower into chunks.
- Add vegetables to a pot and cover with vegetable broth (add additional broth or water to ensure vegetables are covered). Heat on medium heat until vegetables are soft (10-15 minutes). Let cool.
- Grate cheddar, mozzarella, and parmesan cheeses.
- Puree the vegetables and vegetable stock with an immersion blender (or conventional blender) until smooth.
- Add milk, cheddar, parmesan, mozzarella, and cream cheeses to the pot with the vegetable mixture. Heat on medium and stir until cheese is melted.
- Add pasta to the sauce and cook for 10-15 minutes until the sauce is thick and coats the noodles. Serve and enjoy.
For more information about Edible Alphabet and the Culinary Literacy Center, visit freelibrary.org/cook or email kitchen @ freelibrary.org. Enjoy this recipe? Leave a comment and stay tuned for more Edible Alphabet recipes in the coming weeks!