I was really lazy this weekend. I had a very long to do list, with many items that have a due date of my birthday (in less than two weeks) but still didn't find much motivation. Guess that means I have to step it up this week! I always feel loopy on Monday's if I wasn't productive on the weekend, is that what being a grown up is? I don't like it. So, there. Even though my to do list remains untouched, I was very productive in the kitchen.. which is good news for you! In case I haven't expressed my love and admiration for Mac and Cheese yet, I will now. It's probably my favorite food, besides steak, and pasta, and bread.. OK, well it's one of my favorite foods. This was a great low fat recipe, with a little added veggie, and it turned out awesome. Very creamy and cheesy, just the way it should be!
I used frozen chopped broccoli, but you can use fresh too. Which ever is easiest, or in the house!
I also used whole wheat pasta, and could not taste the difference. Plus, it makes you feel less guilty about eating it!
Begin by bringing salted water to a boil, then add pasta and cook for a few minutes less than instructed on the package. The pasta should be slightly undercooked. Drain, and set aside.
Meanwhile prepare the cheese sauce. Heat two cups of milk in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Stirring often until steaming hot. I used skim milk, but you can use whatever you like.
Whisk together the remaining cold milk, flour mustard, salt and pepper until smooth. I cut the recipe in half, so that's why my portions look pretty small.
Whisk the flour mixture into the steaming milk and bring to a simmer, whisking often, until smooth and thickened.
Remove from heat and stir in the cheese.
Add your thawed broccoli and stir until combined. Then stir the cheese sauce into the drained pasta.
Stir together the breadcrumbs, paprika, salt and garlic powder in a small bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and stir until completely combined.
Transfer the pasta mixture into a oven safe dish sprayed with non-stick.
Sprinkle the topping crumbs over the pasta and bake at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, until the pasta is bubbling and the topping is golden brown.
I really liked the broccoli in the mac and cheese, I usually have chicken or some kind of meat, but this was a great alternative. It was very creamy, despite being made with skim milk. Great low-fat option to your normal mac and cheese, and a quick week night meal!
Macaroni & Cheese with Broccoli
12oz whole wheat macaroni, around 3 cups
1 large broccoli crown chopped, or around 4 cups of frozen chopped broccoli thawed
2 1/2 cups milk *I used skim
1/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese *I used low fat Colby jack
3 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs
3/4 teaspoons paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons evoo
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F, and coat a baking dish with cooking spray. *I used a pie pan, you could use a 9x13 if you're making the whole recipe.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
When water boils cook macaroni for a few minutes less than package instructions.
Drain pasta and return to pot, set aside.
Meanwhile prepare cheese sauce by heating 2 cups of milk over medium high heat.
Stirring often until steaming hot.
Whisk together remaining cold milk, flour, Dijon, salt and pepper in a medium bowl until smooth.
Whisk the flour mixture into steaming milk and bring to a simmer, whisking often until smooth and thick.
Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese, then add broccoli.
Stir the cheese sauce in to the pasta, and transfer to prepared baking dish.
Stir together breadcrumbs, paprika, salt and garlic powder in a small bowl.
Drizzle in olive oil and stir until completely combined.
Sprinkle crumbs over pasta and transfer to the oven.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until pasta is bubbling and topping is golden brown.