Thursday, November 19, 2009

My version of Easy Mac

Traffic in the DC area sucks. Plain and simple. So when I got out of work an hour early (4 instead of 5) I thought, “Great! Maybe I can beat some of the traffic!”


My GPS (God bless it) completely avoided all highways, which made me think it was just trained to do that during rush hour. OK, I’ll take the back roads…it’s got to be better than sitting in traffic on 495 right?


It took me 1 hour and 15 minutes to get home….and most of that was driving through the city of Fairfax. It took me a half hour just to get out of there. Lame. So when Dennis called to ask me what I had planned to make for dinner, I thought tonight would be a great night for my easy mac and cheese. Boy did I need some comfort food in my life.

I stumbled upon this recipe while fumbling through my Betty Crocker cookbook a while back. Throughout the years I’ve made many a changes to it, drastically decreasing fat and calories without ruining the taste. It’s Dennis approved, so you know it’s good.

Easy Mac and Cheese (low fat version)

  • 2 cups uncooked regular or whole wheat elbow macaroni (8 oz)
  • 2 cups 1% milk (or skim, but we don’t do skim in this house..yuck!)
  • 3 tablespoons flour (I used King Arthur’s White Whole Wheat flour)
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups shredded reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese (8 oz)
  • 2 hearty handfuls of fat free garlic croutons, crushed

1. In 3-quart saucepan, cook and drain macaroni as directed on package. Return to saucepan; cover to keep warm.
2. Meanwhile, heat oven to 350°F. Spray 8-inch square (2-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. In 2-quart saucepan, stir milk, flour, mustard, salt, and black pepper with wire whisk until smooth. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat.


Stir in cheese until melted.
3. Add cheese sauce to cooked macaroni; mix well. Spoon into baking dish.
4. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until edges are bubbly.

Serves 6-1 cup servings.


To give myself some color, I added 1/2 steamed peas and some sliced mushrooms.


Yum. The nutritional value for this (without the peas and mushrooms) was around 340, 10 grams of fat, 5 grams sugar, 44 grams carbs and 2 grams fiber. Not too shabby for Mac n Cheese.  (I got these facts from the Betty Crocker website)

I told you I’d have a full recap of ICE! but I didn’t get the pictures today. I’m hoping to get them this weekend. BUT since I’m still playing with the fun settings on my camera, I took this awesome picture of Dylan:


I think it looks professional!

By the way, I’m already sick of Christmas commercials. I feel like  the retail monsters takes the spirit away from Christmas and it really saddens me.

Check out Caitlin’s blog about going vegan for a day. Veganism is a topic that I have some pretty strong feelings about, and she did a great job touching on the pros and cons of eating vegan. Looking for some good ideas on getting more protein in your life? Check out what HEAB has been up to. Jess posted an awesome looking Chickpea Curry with Butternut Squash and Peeled Dried Cherries recipe—I want to make it right now!! And if you are in need of some good, honest smiles, read Polly. You ladies all rock.

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