Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Low-Fat Mac and Cheese

 Happy Wednesday!

My best friend finally had her baby last night at 8:24 p.m.  It seemed like it took forever!!  I talked to her this morning and, rightfully so, she sounds exhausted.  I can't wait to meet her little guy though!

Last week I tried a new mac and cheese recipe from Fitness Magazine.  It's a Rocco DiSpirito recipe that uses an onion-garlic puree as a substitute for a typical milk, butter and flour rue.  The seller for me was the portion size.  In other low-fat mac and cheese recipes, the serving size is so tiny, but this one?  The serving size was just right.

This recipe was ridiculously easy and didn't take too much time to prepare.  I got the little guy involved in making this recipe and instead of using a half a cup of Rocco's Secret Weapon, I accidentally used an entire cup.  It made the recipe super oniony and garlicky tasting but I still enjoyed it.  I'll be putting this into my rotation more often.  Mac and Cheese that's low fat and tasty?  Yes, please!

Mac and Cheese Lite

Makes: 4 servings
Nonstick cooking spray
4 ounces whole wheat macaroni
1/2 cup onion-garlic puree (see "Rocco's Secret Weapon," below)
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 cup shredded 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar
1/3 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Mist an 8-by-8-inch baking dish with cooking spray; set it aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add macaroni and cook according to package directions, drain.
  3. Meanwhile, bring onion-garlic puree, mustard, and cayenne to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring often. Whisk in cheddar until melted. Remove from heat and whisk in yogurt.
  4. In a medium bowl, toss the macaroni with the cheese sauce. Season with salt to taste. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle panko over the top. Top with Parmesan.
  5. Bake until Parmesan is melted and macaroni is hot throughout, about 10 minutes.
Nutrition facts per serving (about 2/3 cup): 237 calories, 17g protein, 31g carbohydrate, 7g fat (4g saturated), 3g fiber

Rocco's Secret Weapon

Bechamel sauce (a mixture of milk, butter, and flour) plays a starring role in traditional mac and cheese recipes. DiSpirito uses this aromatic blend of onion and garlic to build flavor and texture without fat (makes 1 cup).
Step 1
Combine 1 large Vidalia onion, 9 garlic cloves (roughly chopped), and 1/2 cup water in a microwave-safe bowl. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
Step 2
Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and microwave on high 10 minutes.
Step 3
Pour the mixture into a blender; blend until smooth. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. (Store in a covered container in the fridge for up to 72 hours.)

Question of the Day:
Are you a mac and cheese fan?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie