Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Macaroni and Cheese and Chicken Nuggets

Yup.  That's right...you read that correctly!  Becky told me about this mac and cheese (she's a cheese-a-holic) recipe she made and thought it would be a good one to make over, so I took a whirl at it.  She also had a chicken nugget recipe that was pretty good too!  This is not a meal for you low-carb lovers out there...and it's not one of the quickest recipes to make either.  But, if you have some extra time on your hands and are in the mood for some super cheesy starchiness, you've come to the right place!!

The mac and cheese was already a recipe make-over, so it was pretty low fat to begin with.  I just added some extra nutrition by using whole wheat ingredients.  The reason mac & cheese is usually considered to be a pretty unhealthy food (I'm not talking out-of-the-box-powder-cheese kind) is the high fat content  from the cheesy, creamy ingredients.

One rule of thumb when buying dairy: always, always, always buy low fat (unless you're a toddler and need whole milk).  For example, if you compare whole milk vs 2% milk vs skim milk - all have the same protein/carb content, same calcium and other important nutrients - the only significant difference is the fat - and its not the healthiest kind of fat.  So save yourself the calories!  Same goes for cheese, yogurt, etc... I usually don't recommend totally fat free cheese...it kinda looks like plastic...just my opinion!

First, the mac & cheese...I doubled this (because that's what I do...I blame my dad for my constant need to make excess food) so it fit in a casserole dish.  If you cut this in half it will make enough for a square dish.

Dad and Barry...feeding the masses...doing what they do!
4 cups of uncooked whole wheat pasta (I used shells because macaroni in whole wheat form was no where to be found)
1 cup non-fat, plain Greek yogurt
4 cups of skim milk
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
6 Tablespoons whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons mustard (weird, right?!?)
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I thought it was spicy...go ahead and add more if your brave!)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 1/2 cups low fat shredded cheddar

Topping:
1/4 cup plain bread crumbs (next time I will use Panko because I think it's crunchier...which I like)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup olive oil

Cook and drain pasta according to directions.  Add Greek yogurt to pot, cover to keep warm.


In a separate pot, combine next 7 ingredients (milk through black pepper).  Cook, constantly stirring over medium heat until mixture boils & thickens.

doesn't that look appetizing????
excuse the shadow...........
Once mixture is thickened, remove from heat and add cheese.  Stir until melted.

keep stirring...
Combine with noodle mixture (in whichever pot is bigger).  Stir until fully mixed together.  On a side note, you could probably stop here and have a delicious side dish...and save the calories from the topping mixture...but we'll keep going for now!  Pour mixture into greased baking dish.


To make the topping, combine all three ingredients until crumbly.  Pour on top of macaroni.


Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes - until cheese is bubbly.


WOW...I think that's long enough for now!  I will save the chicken nuggets for tomorrow, and the roasted asparagus we had with this meal...did you think I wouldn't include some sort of veggies?!?  Stay tuned!  And in case you were wondering...Cora still thinks my house is boring...


ENJOY!

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