Monday, April 25

Mac n Cheese WINS by a Landslide!

I love love love macaroni and cheese. Kenny used to laugh at me and say it was a kid food. But over the years he has discovered how wonderful a GOOD bowl of mac n cheese can be! It was never something I'd make at home because of calories. And so I rarely satisfied my craving. I decided to start playing w recipes and trying to make a healthier version. Ah, don't misunderstand me- I still love to indulge in the full fat kind of mac n cheese just as much as anyone. But this dish helps me stay in calorie check. Ken and I love a smoky taste. So I usually buy smoked Gouda and add extra smoked paprika! I often add a crunchy topping too. (Panko bread crumbs & EVOO mixed together & sprinkle on top) If serving to kids I'm not sure I'd call it macaroni and cheese! I dunno- just call it cheesy pasta!

1 pkg. (16oz) whole wheat shells or elbow macaroni
1 1/2 c. steamed broccoli
3 Tbsp EVOO
3 Tbsp flour
2 c. fat free half & half
2 c. skim milk
1 clove garlic, smashed
1 Tbsp dried parsley
To Taste= S&P, basil, smoked paprika & thyme
2 c. shredded Fontina, Gouda or any other white flavorful cheese
1 c. shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese

1. Cook pasta according to box directions but be sure pasta is al dente bc it will cook more in oven. Meanwhile, in a large sauce pan over medium heat combine EVOO and flour. Let cook until bubbly about 5 minutes.
2. Whisk in half & half. Whisk in milk and seasonings. Bring to a simmer. Let simmer for about 7 minutes until sauce becomes slightly thicker.
3. Turn off heat and stir in cheeses, slowly. Add broccoli and combine w pasta.
4. Transfer to a 2.5 qt. greased baking dish. Bake at 400 for aprox 15 minutes.

Out of oven

Before baking. Kind of soupy.

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