Macaroni and Cheese was a staple in our house when I was growing up. Have you ever noticed the unhealthy ingredients that are listed in that store-bought boxed macaroni and cheese? You can't even pronounce them! I don't want to serve that unhealthy processed junk to my granddaughters, so I've created my own tasty recipe that is full of vitamins, protein, healthy carbs, and nutrients.
Add a piece of grilled or baked chicken, pork, turkey, beef, or fish to complete this delicious side dish. If your child doesn't like the vegetables that my recipe calls for, simply add your own pre-steamed veggies. An easy way to sneak in veggies if your kids hate them all is to add grated cooked cauliflower and carrots to the macaroni in step #6, below. They'll never even taste it or know it's there. Enjoy my recipe, from my kitchen table to yours!
Healthier Mac & Cheese Recipe:
Ingredients For Large Casserole Dish:
4 cups whole grain macaroni pasta, cooked and drained
1/4 cup minced onion
2 tablespoons organic butter
2 1/2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
1 cup whole milk (Vitamin D)
1 cup low sodium chicken stock (No MSG)
1 cup mild cheddar cheese, grated or shredded
1/2 cup hard Parmesan cheese, grated or shredded + 1/4 hard Parmesan cheese, grated, set aside
1/4 to 1/2 cup goat cheese crumbles (you can use Feta Cheese, but cut back on the amount slightly)
1 cup of your child's favorite veggies, pre-cooked or steamed (Our fav: Cauliflower, Broccoli, Carrots)
1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard (I use French's)
1/4 teaspoon each garlic and onion powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
One fine pinch of ground nutmeg
Fresh cracked sea salt and black pepper
2 slices Ezekiel bread (or regular whole grain bread), toasted and crumbled into crumbs
2 1/2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large skillet over medium-low heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the organic butter. Add minced onions, stirring constantly, for one minute. Raise heat to medium, and add the remaining butter to the onions. As soon as butter has melted and begins to brown, stir in whole wheat flour. stir flour into butter quickly, as to form a roux.
2) As soon as flour is incorporated into butter/onions and you have a paste-like substance, add milk, stirring constantly and quickly with a whisk.
3) Sauce will begin to thicken, and at this point, add your chicken broth, stirring quickly and constantly with whisk.
4) Add cheeses to the sauce mix, reserving the additional 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese for later use.
5) Stir frequently until cheese melts. Add mustard, garlic and onion powder, paprika, and nutmeg to sauce mix. Stir well to incorporate. Decrease heat to low, and bring sauce to a simmer. Stir frequently to keep sauce thick and mixed properly.
6) In a large mixing bowl, gently mix together the cooked pasta and the cooked veggies, incorporating them well together. Place pasta veggie mix into a large parchment paper-lined casserole dish.
7) Remove sauce from simmer, and carefully pour over the macaroni and veggie mixture in casserole dish. Stir the cheese sauce around to cover all macaroni. Make sure you spread the mac n cheese mixture evenly throughout the casserole dish.
8) Sprinkle a small amount of freshly ground cracked sea salt and pepper onto the top of the mac n cheese. Cover the mac n cheese with the whole grain Ezekiel crumbs. Top the crumbs with the remaining 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese evenly over the top.
9) Place casserole dish, uncovered, in 375 degree pre-heated oven and bake for 35 minutes. Top should be browned slightly, and mac n cheese will be bubbling. Carefully remove from oven and rest for 7 minutes before serving.
Makes 8 servings