Perfected Mac n’ Cheese

20 Jun

I have been messing with this recipe for a while now and let me tell you…it is AWESOME! I used to loooove mac n’ cheese when I was a kid, it’s warm, cheesy, and delicious. My aunt used to make it for me and my younger cousin whenever we visited in Indiana. Kraft with extra cheese (processed slices). When I started searching for healthy versions all of the recipes boasted about how healthy it was and “it even has 4 types of cheese!” Blah blah blah… looked at the nutrition facts (for the ones that had them) and a serving was like 400-500 calories with fat grams in the double digits. No thanks! I knew I could find a recipe or make one of my own that was far healthier, but still tasted amazing.

I started with a Weight Watchers recipe I found in a magazine. I added things, took some away and I have now created my own Sonja’s Special Mac n’ Cheese. This recipe serves 8, but can be easily halved. I made mine for 4 last night and saved the left-overs for easy lunches.

Ingredients:

12 oz penne, rotini, or elbow pasta (I swear by and only use SmartTaste, lower calorie than other whole wheat pastas and a good amount of dietary fiber… and tastes great)

2 tbsp butter

1 small onion, chopped

2 tbsp all-purpose flour

2 cups skim milk

2 tbsp mustard (I love Dijon)

2 egg yolks (makes this dish very creamy and full of body)

1/4-1/2 tsp salt (kosher :P)

2 cups reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded (you can also use 1 cup cheddar and 1 cup mozzarella, but the nutrition facts will change. The calories will go up by 50 and the fat will go up by 5g per serving)

14.5 oz can diced (stewed or fire roasted are good) tomatoes with Italian seasonings

Directions:

First start you pasta, and make sure to salt the water (I always do).

Meanwhile, you’ll start making your roux for the cheese sauce. Add the butter to a large skillet. Add the chopped onion and saute until translucent. Add the flour and whisk for about 1 minute until the flour flavor is gone (this thickens the sauce).

 Gradually whisk in milk and continue to whisk until it thickens slightly.

Then add the mustard, egg yolks, and salt. Whisk for a few more minutes.

 *I cut the recipe in half because I was only cooking for myself, hence only 1 egg yolk and 1 tbsp of mustard.

Now… the cheeeeeeeeeeeese!

 *I did a mixture of cheddar and mozzarella because I didn’t have reduced-fat cheddar.

Turn off the heat and mix until combined and all the cheese has melted (taste now if you want more salt or other spices). Add the tomatoes.

Stir to combine. Almost there! Add the cooked noodles!!

 *Okay… I think I went a little nuts with the picture-taking this time, but it spruces up the post, right?

Mix until every last noodle is covered in cheesy goodness… another picture of that.. Haa!

Oooooo… I was thinking when I was stirring this that I wish people could hear how creamy it is. But look at that! Yummm

This recipe serves 8, but (like I said and did) you can cut the recipe in half and make it for 4. A serving size is a generous 1 cup. Make your dish look pretty with some green herb on top, pretty pointless but you feast with your eyes first!

DIG IN!! Guilt free too!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION:

Calories: 255   Fat: 5.4g (saturated 3g)   Protein: 15.5g   Fiber: 4.8g   Sodium: 450mg

*Nutrition specs will differ depending on the cheese and pasta you use. I highly recommend SmartTaste… if not that try something that has a good amount of fiber per serving (3g minimum) and is 200 calories or less per serving (SmartTaste has 170 calories with 5g of fiber for 2 oz).

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2 Responses to “Perfected Mac n’ Cheese”

  1. Ryan July 19, 2011 at 3:27 am #

    It’s SOOOO GOOOD!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Zucchini Fettuccine Alfredo « Sonja's Special - August 2, 2011

    […] some parmesan cheese… fettuccine with zucchini and white sauce is what came to mind. I used my Mac n’ Cheese recipe as inspiration on how to make the white sauce, which is much like alfredo. I’m not sure if […]

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