Sunday, November 28, 2010

Mac & Cheese

How was everyone's Thanksgiving? Both of mine were delicious. We first ate with Jesse's family and then came to my parents house for round two. Both meals were so different (mashed potatoes & green bean casserole at his house, homemade noodles and desserts from scratch at mine), we were utterly stuffed when we were finally finished.
 Awesome montage of mac & cheese box mixes from here

Continuing my comfort foods made healthy theme, I made macaroni and cheese, one of my absolute favorite meals ever, a bit healthier this time (from Right at Home). I was nervous about the broccoli in this dish, but it was surprisingly good and didn't take away from my mac & cheese! Homemade macaroni and cheese is so much better than the Blue Box--honestly, if you've never made if from scratch, do it! It's worth it.

8 ounces multigrain elbow macaroni (about 2 cups)
4 Tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
4 Tablespoons butter
1 cup skim milk
1 cup fat-free half-and-half
2 cups shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
2 cups broccoli, chopped into small pieces
2 plum tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/4 cup whole-wheat bread crumbs (my family makes bread crumbs from scratch)

Get Cookin'

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, lightly grease a 9-by-12-inch baking dish

Cook the macaroni and drain.

Mix the flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder in a small bowl. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the seasoned flour whisk constantly until the mixture is thick and smooth, about 2 minutes.

Increase the heat to medium-high. Whisking constantly, gradually add the milk and half-and-half until the mixture is smooth. Bring to a gentle boil and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is very thick and smooth, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium. Add the cheese, half a cup at a time, stirring thoroughly each time until the cheese is melted. Remove from the heat. Add the cooked macaroni, stir to combine.

Layer the bottom of a baking dish with the broccoli and tomatoes. Spoon the macaroni and cheese over the vegetables. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, until the top is crisped and lightly browned.

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