The ultimate comfort food gets a healthy makeover in these three recipes:
Creamy Stove-Top Macaroni and Cheese (from www.cookinglight.com)
4 cups uncooked medium elbow macaroni
3 Tbs all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
2 ¼ cups fat-free milk
¼ cup (2 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp bottled minced garlic
1 ¼ cups (5 ounces) shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and set aside. While pasta cooks, place flour, salt and pepper in a large saucepan. Add milk, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Drop cream cheese by the teaspoonful into milk mixture; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat; simmer 2 minutes or until thick and cream cheese melts, stirring occasionally. Stir mustard, Worcestershire, and garlic; simmer 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add cheddar cheese, stirring until cheese melts. Combine pasta and cheese sauce in a large bowl; toss well.
Yields 6 servings
252 calories; 8.2 g fat; 14.5 g protein; 30.9 g carbohydrate; 1.1 g fiber; 27 mg cholesterol
Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese (from www.womenshealthmag.com)
8 oz whole wheat rotini
½ cup fat-free milk
6 oz frozen butternut squash, thawed
1 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp dry mustard
pepper to taste
1 Tbs Parmesan, freshly shredded
1 Tbs bread crumbs
Prepare 8 oz whole wheat rotini according to package directions. In medium saucepan, simmer ½ cup fat-free milk with ½ 12 oz package frozen butternut squash until combined. Remove from heat and mix with 1 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese, ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp dry mustard, and pepper to taste. Pour drained pasta into 8” X 8” baking dish, stir in cheese mixture, and top with 1 Tbs each Parmesan and bread crumbs. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes.
Yields 4 servings
304 calories; 6 g fat, 18.4 g protein; 45.5 g carbohydrates; 8.7 g fiber; 7.4 mg cholesterol
Bacon and Caramelized Onion Mac ‘n Cheese (from http://www.livebetteramerica.com)
2 large sweet onions, sliced (4 cups)
1 package (16 oz) uncooked penne rigate pasta
1 Tbs butter or margarine
2 Tbs Gold Medal all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
½ tsp Dijon mustard
2 cups fat-free (skim) milk
½ cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 oz Gruyère cheese, shredded (1/2 cup)
3 slices bacon, crisply cooked, crumbled
½ cup Progresso panko crispy bread crumbs
¼ cup chopped basil leaves
Spray 12-inch nonstick skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium heat. Add onions to skillet; cook uncovered 10 minutes, stirring every 3 to 4 minutes, until tender and starting to brown. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook 35 to 40 minutes longer, stirring every 5 minutes, until onions are deep golden brown; set aside.
Meanwhile, cook and drain pasta as directed on package except omit salt. Spray 11” X 7” (2 quart) baking dish with cooking spray. Pour pasta into baking dish; keep warm.
While pasta is cooking, make cheese sauce. In 3-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour, salt, pepper and mustard with wire whisk. Cook about 2 minutes stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and bubbly; remove from heat. Gradually stir in milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly; boil and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in caramelized onions and all remaining cheese sauce ingredients.
Heat oven to 400°F. Pour cheese sauce over pasta in baking dish. Sprinkle with topping ingredients. Bake uncovered 10 minutes or until heated through (topping will not be brown).
Yields 12 servings
270 calories; 6 g fat; 10 g protein; 42 g carbohydrate; 15 mg cholesterol