Every once in awhile I come across a recipe that I just have to try out because it's different, or sounds interesting or simply because I have all of the ingredients in my house. This recipe happened to meet all three criteria. I present to you Cheddar and Carrot Macaroni and Cheese.
My first thought was "eww - carrots in mac and cheese?" I read through some of the reviews and many people said they couldn't taste the carrots and that it added a creaminess to the dish. I thought it was worth the shot so I went to work.
Cheddar and Carrot Macaroni and Cheese from Slender Kitchen
Servings: 6 servings
Nutritional Info: Cals: 255, Carbs: 35, Fat: 7g, Protein: 13g, Fiber: 5g
8 oz high fiber pasta shells or elbows (I used Ronzoni)
1 lb. baby carrots
1.5 cups reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
2 tbsp. bread crumbs
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Place the carrots in a microwave safe container with 1/2 cup water. Cook on high for 5-7 minutes or until soft.
Meanwhile cook the pasta in salted water according to package directions. Take the pasta out when it is al dente. Drain and reserve 1 cup of cooking liquid. Return to the pot.
Place the carrots with any remaining liquid in a blender. Add the 1 cup of cooking water from the pasta. Blend until smooth.
Add the carrot puree to the pasta and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. The sauce should thicken. Turn the heat down to low and stir in the 1.25 cups of cheese. Stir until creamy and season with salt and pepper.
Pour into a baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and breadcrumbs. Bake for 20-25 minutes until sides are bubbling. Broil for the last 2-3 minutes if you want a crispier top.
When I first tasted it, I could tell there were carrots in there immediately. I wasn't sure if it was because I knew they were there or if I could actually taste them. I asked John and the hubby to taste it and both of them said that they could taste the carrots. It was necessarily a bad thing.....it was just....um...carroty.
I will definitely make this again because it kicked my craving for mac and cheese without breaking the calorie bank. Next time, though, I'll try it with half a pound of baby carrots instead of a pound.
Question of the Day:
Have you ever hidden vegetables in your food?
Until next time!