I've been in the mood for the creamy cheesy goodness of homemade mac and cheese lately. But I haven't made it because my daughter hasn't been a fan of my mac and cheese. Instead, she asks for the "kind in the blue box". Although I try to limit the processed foods we have in the house, like practically every other kid in the U.S., she was exposed to the powdered cheese phenomenon at some point in her life and has never looked back. So, in an effort to convert her while still keeping it healthy, here's the recipe that won her over and one that I'm willing to eat. This is great as a side dish to grilled or broiled fish and steamed carrots. Then, you'll have some left to try the Broccoli, Ham and Cheese Pasta Bake for a meal the next day.
2 cups uncooked whole grain or high-fiber elbow macaroni
1 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups 1% milk
2 oz. 1/3-less fat cream cheese, cut into medium chunks
1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) extra sharp cheddar cheese, finely shredded
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground mustard powder
1/4 tsp. black pepper
Cook macaroni according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain. Meanwhile, melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk flour into milk and add to saucepan. Cook, stirring frequently, until milk has thickened, about 8 to 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low and gradually add the cream cheese, stirring with a whisk until melted. Then, gradually add the cheddar cheese, stirring until melted. Add salt, pepper, and mustard, stirring to combine. Pour macaroni into saucepan and stir to coat with cheese sauce.
Servings: 6 main dish (~1 cup per serving) or 12 side dish (~1/2 cup per serving)
Per Main Dish Serving (6 oz. serving): 338 calories, 35 grams carbohydrate (4 grams fiber), 16 grams protein, 15 grams fat (9 grams saturated). This dish is an excellent source of calcium, and a good source of vitamin A and riboflavin (a B vitamin).
Per Side Dish Serving (3 oz. serving): 169 calories, 18 grams carbohydrate (2 grams fiber), 8 grams protein, 8 grams fat (5 grams saturated). This dish is a good source of calcium.
Written by Michelle Baglio of Optimal Nutrition and Health (Google+). All recipes, unless otherwise noted, are created and tested in my home kitchen. Any resemblance to other recipes available in print or online is purely coincidental. The use of particular brands and/or products is sometimes noted because of their quality and the use of other products, while similar, may affect the outcome of the finished dish. Please do not reprint this recipe for distribution without my permission. To feature this recipe on your website, please link to this post as the original source.
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