Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Healthy Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and Cheese is a definite comfort food. Whenever I need a quick and easy warm meal, this is usually where I turn. Except every time I do, that little healthy angel on my shoulder reminds me how unhealthy it is.

As a result - I've searched and searched for a good homemade macaroni recipe, and my friends, this one is it! With less than 400 calories per serving, you also get your veggies, calcium, vitamin A, and other good things your body will thank you for later.


Healthy Baked Macaroni and Cheese
6 SERVINGS 
PREP: 25 minutes           COOK: 25 minutes            READY IN: 50 minutes


  SIMPLE         HEALTHY      YUM
pic name       pic name      pic name

INGREDIENTS


  • 3 tablespoons plain dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 package (10 or 16 ounces) frozen spinach, thawed
  • 1 3/4 cups low-fat milk
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni (or any short pasta)

DIRECTIONS


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Grease an 8-inch square (or 2-quart) baking dish.
  2. Mix breadcrumbs, oil, and paprika in a small bowl.
  3. Put thawed spinach in a strainer and press out the excess moisture.
  4. Pour 1 1/2 cups milk in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until steaming. Whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup milk and flour in a separate small bowl. Mix in with hot milk, whisking consistently, until sauce thickens. (Takes about 2-3 minutes.)  
  5. Once sauce is thickened, remove from heat and add cheese until melted. Stir in cottage cheese, nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
  6. Cook pasta until almost tender (it will continue to cook during baking). Drain and add to milk mixture; mix well. Pour 1/2 of the pasta mixture into prepared baking dish. Spread thawed spinach on top, followed by the remaining pasta. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
  7. Bake the casserole until golden brown, about 25 minutes.

NUTRITION FACTS



    1 cup serving    396 calories   16.2 g fat   38.4 g carbs    25 g protein    5.7 g sugar   

Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Eating Well
Linking up here.

2 comments:

Judy K said...

This looks like a great recipe. I will be featuring this tonight at my Fall into Fall party that opens at 8pm EST. Please stop by and pick up an I've Been Featured button. Thanks. http://diybydesign.blogspot.com

Cambria said...

That's fantastic, Judy! We'll stop by!

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