This past September one of our innovative dishes was featured in The Vermont Fresh Network’s Fresh Feed. Read below for the full article! for more information on the Vermont Fresh Network and all of the  great things they’re up to, please visit:

Harvest Mac and Cheese from The Abbey Group

The Abbey Group provides school lunches for nearly one hundred schools in Vermont and New Hampshire. The Abbey Group helps some of these schools source lunch ingredients from Vermont farms like Maplebrook, Mazza’s, Clear Brook Farm, and their own school gardens. Nicole Fournier of the Abbey Group is excited about her Harvest Mac & Cheese and shares the secret of it’s success: “The unique thing about this recipe is the butternut squash turns yellow and, believe it or not, the students are more accepting of it because of the yellow color.”  Innovative ideas like macaroni and cheese with butternut squash helps get local, whole foods into school lunches and into kid’s bellies!

Recipe for The Abbey Group’s Harvest Mac & Cheese

1 lb Whole Grain Macaroni
2 lb Roasted Butternut Squash
1 ½ Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
4 c Milk
½ c Whole Wheat Flour
1 tsp Dry Mustard
2 lb Vermont Cheddar Cheese
a pinch of nutmeg and black pepper

1-      Cook pasta al dente taking care to not overcook as you will also be baking the dish.
2-      Place oil in a heavy bottom sauce pan, whisk in the flour and mustard. Add the milk slowly, whisking continuously until smooth. Add the pinch of nutmeg and cook on low heat until the sauce thickens and the flour taste dissipates.
3-      Whisk in the cheese, a little at a time, and fold in squash puree. Season with pepper.
4-      In a large mixing bowl- combine pasta and sauce and spread into a greased, shallow baking dish.
5-      Bake at 350 until golden brown (25-35 minutes).