Monday, April 18, 2011

Macaroni and Cheese

My husband always talked about the macaroni and cheese his grandmother made for Easter dinner when he was growing up. For him, ham and macaroni and cheese are simply made to be served together.  It's important for many of us to prepare these recipes and continue on with some family traditions.  The trouble with so many of these original recipes is that they tend to be loaded with extra unhealthy fat and sugar.

Though I never had the original recipe (indeed, it sounds like she just made it without one!) I created a more healthy, light version of mac and cheese years ago.  My husband really loves it and I thought it would be perfect to share for this week.

Barb's Macaroni and Cheese                        

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Coat a 2 quart casserole dish with cooking spray.
Cook according to package directions (without adding salt):
      6 oz. whole grain macaroni (choose your favorite shape)
Drain well.
In a saucepan, while still cold, whisk together until smooth (no lumps!)
      1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
      2 cups non-fat milk
      1/4 tsp. salt
      1/4 tsp ground pepper
      1/8 - 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
Cook over medium heat until thickened.
Add and stir until melted:
      4 oz. grated low-fat sharp cheddar cheese
      4 oz. low-fat American cheese
Mix together macaroni and cheese sauce.

Blend together in a little bowl:
      2 Tbsp. dry bread crumbs
      1 Tsp. grated Parmesan cheese
      1 tsp. olive oil
Sprinkle crumbs on top of macaroni and cheese.

Pour into prepared casserole.
Bake for at 40 minutes, or until bubbly.

Nutritional Data:
1/6 of dish (about 1-1/2 cup)
           213 calories
            4 g. fat
          430 mg. sodium
            3 g. fiber
           29 g. carbohydrate
           16 g. protein
Exchanges:  1 1/2 starch, 1 dairy
It's an easy dish to prepare and so, so good!


  1. Question....4 oz of American cheese? Does American cheese come any other way than in the slices? Can you get a brick of it (unsliced)?

    Just curious.

  2. Great question! 2% American cheese primarily comes in single slices, but you can find low-fat Velveeta in a block, which just needs to be weighed out on a food scale. If you use the singles, Kraft American singles are 2/3 ounce, so you would need to use 6 slices to get 4 ounces.

    I'm sure some of you are wondering why I use any processed cheese at all. You can easily make this recipe with all low-fat sharp cheddar which gives great flavor but ends up being less creamy. Blending the two gives the best of both worlds.


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