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A Healthy Mac & Cheese That Doesn’t Taste Like Cardboard

Posted Aug 05 2010 3:00am
healthy mac and cheese

And, yes, it really is delicious.

After reviewing the Flat Belly Diet! Family Cookbook yesterday and raving about the tasty yet healthy mac and cheese , you didn’t think that we would tease you and not share the recipe with you, right?! Of course not! Our moms taught us well; we love to share. So behold the recipe for a mac and cheese that you can feel good about serving yourself and your fam (note: it doesn’t come out of a box)!

Crunchy Crust “Mac and Cheese”

4 oz multi-grain macaroni
4 tbsp olive oil, divided
3 tbsp Panko bread crumbs
2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 c fat-free milk
1/2 c shredded, reduced-fat Cheddar cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat an 8-inch x 8-inch baking dish with vegetable spray.

2. Bring a pot of water to a boil, and cook the macaroni according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water and drain again. Set aside. Combine the bread crumbs and 2 teaspoons oil in a small bowl. Stir with a fork to evenly coat the crumbs with oil.

3. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon oil to a large saucepan. Set over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour, paprika, salt and pepper until smooth. Add the milk, whisking constantly. Cook, whisking, for about 5 minutes, or until thickened. Remove from the heat. Stir in the cheese until it melts. Stir in the macaroni. Pour into the baking dish. Top evenly with the crumbs.

4. Bake for 15 minutes or until bubbling and golden. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

5. Eat it up, nom!

Each 1-cup serving of this comfort food has 328 calories and a good amount of healthy fats. The entire recipe takes just an hour from prep to dinner time and the entire recipe serves four. When I made it, I doubled the recipe for leftovers (loved it for lunches!) and used a 9-inch by 13-inch pan. Worked wonderfully. Hooray for healthy comfort food! —Jenn

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