Friday, July 8, 2011

Cooking My Way: Macaroni and Cheese

For years, when asked the question, "What's your favorite food?" I had one answer...macaroni and cheese.

To be honest, some mac and cheese's are superior to others but it didn't really matter what kind it was, I would eat it. My favorite was my grandma Womble's homemade kind. It was a staple in my family. She made it for Sunday lunches, church dinners, and ALL the holiday's. She would have had a riot on her hands if she hadn't made it. But be it homemade or out of a box, I loved it. I was excited when they started making and selling "Easy Mac" because then I could have my favorite food almost instantly. But as we all know, that while it may be tasty, macaroni and cheese is definitely not good for you.

I passed along my love for the cheesy goodness to my daughter. If you've read my blog, you know that she is one of the main reasons that I decided to get healthy and lose weight. I truly did not want her following in my footsteps when it came to nutrition and exercise. She pretty much lived off of Easy Mac and chicken nuggets for a while. Since we've been eating healthier we have not had macaroni and cheese in a really long time and a couple of weeks ago she started asking for it. So, being the new and improved me, I took to the Internet in search of a "healthy" mac and cheese, if there was even such a thing...

...and there was! I again found this wonderful recipe courtesy of Fitness Magazine. You should really check out their website and browse the recipe section. There are so many yummy but healthy things to choose from. So without further ado, here is the recipe for healthy macaroni and cheese (sorry, no pictures this time)...

Macaroni and Cheese (courtesy of Fitness Magazine)

Onion-Garlic Puree
1 large Vidalia onion (I used a yellow onion)
9 cloves of garlic (sounds like a lot but trust me, it's good)
1/2 cup of water
salt and pepper to taste

Chop onion and smash garlic to get the skin off. Place in a microwave safe bowl along with water. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 10 minutes. Pour mixture into blender and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Makes one cup of sauce and will keep in the fridge, covered, for up to 72 hours.

Nonstick cooking spray
4 oz whole wheat macaroni
1/2 cup of onion-garlic puree
1/2 tsp dry mustard
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 cup of shredded reduced fat cheddar (I use cheddar made with 2% milk)
1/3 cup non fat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mist an 8 by 8 inch baking dish with cooking spray; set it aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add macaroni and cook according to package directions. Drain.

Meanwhile, bring onion-garlic puree, mustard, and cayenne to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring often. Whisk in cheddar until melted. Remove from heat and whisk in yogurt.

In a medium bowl, toss the macaroni with cheese sauce. Season with salt to taste. Pour mixture into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle panko over top. Top with Parmesan cheese.

Bake until Parmesan is melted and macaroni is hot throughout, about 10 minutes.

Serves four. Enjoy!

Ryan, Abigail, and I both found this mac and cheese to be very tasty and satisfying. And it's a good alternative to an otherwise fatty dish! :)

Peace, Love, and Healthy Living,

1 comment:

  1. Girl, I remember her mac and cheese too! To die for!!!