Three Cheese Macaroni Recipe
Makes 6 Servings
If there is a food more comforting and satisfying than homemade macaroni and cheese, we haven't found it. But a typical homemade recipe--made with cream, butter, and full-fat cheese--has about 400 calories and 25 grams of fat per serving; this version has a third of the fat and about 250 calories per cup. We slightly reduced the amount of cheese, used whole-wheat pasta, and chose flavorful ingredients to create a version that tastes good while cutting extra calories. You can leave out the turkey bacon to make this dish vegetarian; add a pinch of dry mustard to the sauce for a sharper flavor.
2⁄3 cup pasta per serving
45 Minutes to Prepare and Cook
For the Sauce:
2 tbsp light butter
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 1⁄2 cups skim milk
1 bay leaf
1⁄8 onion, cut in a wedge
1⁄4 cup shredded reduced-fat Swiss cheese
1⁄4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1⁄4 tsp salt
1 pinch cayenne
8 ounces whole-wheat elbow pasta, dry (see Note)
6 slices turkey bacon, cooked and chopped
1 slice whole-wheat bread, processed into crumbs
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Prepare a 9" x 13" casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Place the butter in a medium saucepan, melt over medium-low heat, and cook until foaming. Add the flour and stir well with a wooden spoon for 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly pour in the milk, whisking to incorporate.
3. Attach the bay leaf to the onion wedge using the cloves. Drop the studded onion into the milk mixture with the clove/bay leaf side down. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens, about 15 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions, but don't salt the cooking water.
5. Remove the studded onion from the sauce and discard. Add the Swiss and cheddar cheeses. Stir to combine and heat the sauce until the cheese is just melted. Season with salt and cayenne.
6. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sauce, bacon, and cooked macaroni; toss to coat.
Combine the breadcrumbs and Parmesan in a small bowl.
7. Pour the pasta mixture into the prepared baking dish and top with the breadcrumbs and Parmesan. Bake uncovered until bubbly and golden, about 15 minutes.
Note: You can swap half the pasta for 3 cups of cooked broccoli or cauliflower to add fiber and make this dish even healthier.
259.6 calories, 7.9 g total fat, 12.9 g total fat, 12.9 mg cholesterol, 425.3 mg sodium, 39.5 g total carbs, 4.1 g dietary fiber, 12.6 g protein
Photo by Randall Hoover Photography
Reprinted from The SparkPeople Cookbook: Love Your Food, Lose The Weight
© 2011 by SparkPeople, Inc. Permission granted by Hay House, Inc., New York, NY 10033. Available wherever books are sold or by clicking here.