Tuesday, January 25, 2011

RECIPE - CLEAN Mac and Cheese

This one is a huge hit with all the kiddies in my house.  You change it up in so many different ways too so it is never the same boring old Mac and Cheese.

  • 4 cups whole wheat pasta ( I like elbows, but use what you have)
  • 1/2 bag frozen cauliflower
  • 2 cooked chicken breast ( OR ham, pork, or clean meatballs)
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 3 - 4 cups shredded cheese ( marble is great, but any one you like)
  • 1 cup pasta water ( reserved while pasta is cooking)
  • 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
  1. In a large pasta pot, cook the cauliflower until tender. 
  2. Scoop cauliflower out of water once cooked and use the water to cook the pasta according to the directions on the box.  Reserve a cup of pasta water.
  3. Mash / puree the cauliflower, set aside.
  4. Drain the pasta, rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process and prevent mushy pasta in your bake.
  5. In the pot, heat the butter over med heat.  Once butter melts, sprinkle flour over top and whisk together. 
  6. Add cheese whisk with flour mixture until melted.
  7. Add pureed cauliflower, whisk
  8. If mixture is too thick add the pasta water until it is creamy.
  9. Add pasta, frozen mixed vegetables, and meat into mixture.  Mix until everything is coated
  10. Transfer to 2 large pans.  Freeze now, or cook at 350 for 45 mins.
  11. Serve and ENJOY!
Planned Leftovers
  • Make a big batch for dinner so the kids (or yourself) can have some for leftovers the next day.
  • I double the batch, then fill 4 of the large bake and take aluminum foil pans (at Dollorama), eat one that week and freeze the rest.
NOTE - I have a little munchkin that I care for that REFUSED to eat this the first time I made it because "real" Mac and Cheese was ORANGE!  So I omitted the cauliflower and, replaced it with 3 large carrots, peeled cooked and pureed with the other mixed veg so there was NO evidence of veggies at all.  Guess what, IT WAS ORANGE, and she eat 3 servings!

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