Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Farewell Winter

Today, I'm saying farewell to winter with one of my favorite recipes. Macaroni and cheese. It's classic comfort food at its finest and can be adapted in a variety of ways by using different cheeses and adding extra veggies or chicken. When the temperature drops, it's one of the recipes that I always return to and when it starts to get warm again, it's always one of the first to go.


Since spring is here, it's time to share this classic comfort food with you before it goes back in the vault for the next 8 months! While this recipe is by no means health food, I've slashed calories by using 1% milk and less cheese, making it an improvement over the original. It also freezes well for quick lunches or dinners. I store leftovers in the freezer using these pyrex 2 cup glass containers and microwave for 3-4 minutes to reheat. Perfection.


If my kitchen walls could talk: Feeling fancy? This recipe is extra decadent when topped with truffle oil. Feel free to add edamame for a protein boost or broccoli for extra veggies. Feeding a large crowd at a holiday party? This standard recipe will serve 5 entree sized portions or 8 sides, but it doubles well.



Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients

16 ounces brown rice pasta
3 tbsp butter or trans fat free margarine
1/4 + 1 tbsp cup brown rice flour
2.5 cups 1% milk
1 tsp dry mustard powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 cups sharp cheddar, shredded

1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Bring water to a boil, add pasta, cook until al dente, ~9-10 minutes. Drain, set aside.
2. Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add flour, fold together using spatula.
3. Pour 2 cups of milk into pan. Stir occasionally, scraping the bottom of the pan with the spatula. Mixture should begin to thicken and may begin to bubble. Keep scraping the bottom of the pan and stirring until the mixture becomes thick; gradually stir in the remaining 1/2 cup milk.
4. Turn heat  to low, add the mustard powder and black pepper, stirring to combine. Add cheddar, stir until melted.
5. Add pasta to pan, fold with cheese sauce. Pour into baking dish.
6. Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown and lightly set. 

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