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Eating My Way Through Passover – And the Reuben Mac & Cheese Carb Explosion That Ensued

Posted Apr 26 2011 8:53pm

no_carbsWell, Passover is over peeps – and I managed to stay wheat-free the entire time! And let me tell ya, I thought it would be a lot easier than it actually was. I really feel for those with gluten intolerances, or really anyone with dietary restrictions in general. I never really realized how large of a role wheat played in my diet until it was no longer there: no cereal for breakfast, no sandwiches for lunch, and you can forget my beloved Trader Joe’s tofu salads (tofu is out too).

So how did I bide my meal-time?

Well I made quite a few matzo pizzas (bottom left – like normal pizza but broiled for only a few minutes to avoid burning the cracker) for dinner and lunch, and then most of my breakfasts consisted of either fruit and peanut butter, or matzo brie (upper left).

Now I think matzo brie is traditionally a savory dish, but I learned to make it as a sort of French toast substitution, which was quite delicious. Throw together some broken up matzo, a few egg whites, cinnamon, and vanilla; let it all soak; then pour the mixture into a frying pan until the eggs are cooked. Top with syrup and enjoy!

Other than matzo, I used this as an opportunity to try and pack more fruit and veggies in my diet with chicken salads (I made a Thai chicken salad in the upper right); veggie omelets (upper right); and lots of grapes, clementines, and bananas. I also whipped up a few variations of my favorite dish (sesame seared tuna steak) and snacked on LOTS of pickles (the spicy kind is delicious!)

So after a week of wheat fasting, what did I want more than ever for dinner tonight?? You guessed it – carbs galore. And I had the perfect recipe to test out in honor of our carb celebration: Reuben Mac & Cheese. Nothing screams carbs and comfort food like mac & cheese, right? I saw this recipe on Rachael Ray last week and knew I had to try it – a Reuben AND mac & cheese!? I altered the recipe a little bit to my own taste – let me know what you guys think!

.

Reuben Mac & Cheese

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound any short cut noodles (elbow noodles are fun)
  • 2 slices of rye bread
  • 3 tablespoons of butter, plus some for buttering toast
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups of fat-free milk
  • ¼ cup spicy brown mustard
  • 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1 cup shredded gruyere cheese
  • 1 cup shredded yellow cheddar cheese
  • ¾ pound thickly sliced deli corned beef (about ½ inch thick)
  • 1 pound sauerkraut

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta until al dente.
  2. While pasta cooks, toast rye bread then butter with extra butter. Coarsely chop bread and place bread in food processor. Add in parsley and paprika and process into bread crumbs.
  3. Rinse half of sauerkraut and drain well. Mix back together with un-rinsed half. Set aside.
  4. Heat a sauce pot over medium heat. Add butter to pot and melt. Whisk in flour slowly over 1 minute, then mix in milk. Season sauce lightly with salt and pepper. Let sauce thicken, about 5-6 minutes, then stir in mustard. Melt 2/3 of the combined cheeses into the sauce.
  5. Preheat broiler.
  6. Drain pasta and return to pot. Toss hot pasta with chopped corned beef and sauerkraut, then stir in cheese to sauce to coat.
  7. Transfer mac and cheese to a large casserole dish. Top with bread crumbs and remaining cheese. Brown under broiler for 3-4 minutes and then serve and enjoy!

    Anyone else have any fun “Passover’s Over!” recipes they love? I’d love to hear about them!

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