Macaroni and cheese is one of my all-time favorite foods, hands down, and when I make it, I always make it from scratch. However, it’s not exactly what you’d call “healthy.” I recently devised a somewhat less terrible for you version of Mac ‘n’ Cheese that’s relatively quick to make and extremely tasty, and I thought I’d share it with you.
What You’ll Need
- One pound whole wheat shaped pasta
- Five cups chopped vegetables such as bell peppers, broccoli, corn, onions
- Two cloves chopped, fresh garlic
- Two tablespoons olive oil
- Two cups grated cheddar cheese (you can substitute other cheeses, according to your taste)
- Two cups skim milk
- Two tablespoons butter
- Two tablespoons flour
- Two bay leaves
- Handful of breadcrumbs (optional)
- Salt & pepper
You’re better off having several pans going at once with this recipe–sure, it makes more dishes, but it goes a whole lot faster that way! When veggies aren’t seasonal, use good-quality (preferably organic) frozen veggies, and defrost according to the directions on the package.
- Pour the milk into a sauce pan with with bay leaves, simmer over medium heat–be careful not to burn the milk. One the milk has started to form bubbles around the edges of the pan, remove it from the heat. Don’t skip this step–it makes all the difference!
- Meanwhile, begin cooking your vegetables over medium heat, starting with the garlic and onions; I usually cook each type of vegetable separately, since their cooking times vary.
- Also meanwhile, boil your pasta according the package directions, minus one minute of the cooking time (i.e., if it takes ten minutes, cook for nine).
- Once the pasta is cooked, rinse it with cold water to stop the cooking.
- Once your vegetables are cooked, set them aside.
- Preheat oven to 425°
- Melt the butter in a large sauce pan (I use a large soup pot); be careful not to burn the butter.
- Lower heat on on the butter (medium-low).
- Add the flour, whisking rapidly until the flour and butter mixture are incorporated and smooth.
- Hey, you just made a roux!
- Slowly stir the milk into the butter and flour mixture, whisking until smooth and the thickness of pudding.
- (Don’t forget to remove the bay leaves!)
- Next, add the cheese, a handful at a time, again, stirring until smooth.
- Add the cooked pasta and stir in thoroughly.
- Add your vegetables, stirring thoroughly, making sure all are coated with the cheese mixture.
- Coat a lasagna pan with oil or butter, and then add your vegetable, pasta and cheese mixture to the pan.
- Sprinkle the top with the breadcrumbs, if you’re using them. You can also sprinkle with a little bit of shredded cheese, if you like.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the cheese bubbles and turns brown.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 5-10, until the cheese sets up.
- Eat and enjoy!
Note: Recipe is © Sewer-Sewist 2010; please do not reproduce or republish.No related posts...
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