Gourmet Veggie Mama

Oh-so-slightly healthier mac and cheese

Macaroni and cheese is never going to be health food. But, when I had gestational diabetes, I figured out a healthier way to make it that didn’t spike my blood sugar. As a bonus, it was actually more flavorful than my old standard version, and so I’ve made it my new standard version.

healthier mac and cheese

Healthy(-ish) comfort food.

My hubby, the official salad chef of the house, whipped us up a salad of fresh butterhead lettuce from Full Circle Farm, topped off with grated parmesan, Green Goddess dressing (made with Penzey’s excellent salad dressing mix) and some leftover croutons from my split pea soup.

Gotta have some veggies.

Gotta have some veggies.

Since it was rainy and cold outside the other night, it was the perfect night for winter comfort food. The sunny weather is back again, but I’ll definitely be dusting off this recipe again next time it’s cold and gray!

Oh-so-slightly healthier mac and cheese
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups dried whole wheat macaroni
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 2 Tbs whole wheat flour
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 3½ cups grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • bread crumbs (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Cook the macaroni according to package directions and drain.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium low heat. Add the flour and mix thoroughly to make a paste. Cook, stirring, until bubbly, about 2 minutes.
  3. Gradually add the milk and vegetable stock, stirring to incorporate. Heat over medium low, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to thicken, about 10 minutes.
  4. Gradually stir 3 cups of the cheddar into the mixture, stirring to incorporate.
  5. Off the heat, fold in the cooked macaroni. Transfer to a casserole dish and sprinkle the remaining cheddar and bread crumbs, if using, over the top.
  6. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and the top begins to brown slightly.

 

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6 Thoughts on “Oh-so-slightly healthier mac and cheese

  1. I make my cheese sauce in the microwave… it cuts the butter from the recipe altogether! You bring the milk to the boil in a LARGE microwave bowl (watching carefully so it doesn’t boil over – it happens quick!). Meanwhile shake together 1/4c cold milk with 2T flour, salt & pepper (I also like to add a little mustard powder for some extra depth of flavor) until well mixed. Stir it into the boiled milk, then return to the microwave (again watching carefully) until it starts to boil again… this time it should be a slower rising, thicker mixture. Let it cool a little, then slowly stir in the cheese, check the seasoning, fold in the macaroni, pour into baking dish, top with more cheese & breadcrumbs, bake and voila!
    I wonder if this method would also work with half milk/half stock?? Then it would be super healthy! (well, as far as mac n cheese goes). Might try it next time…

  2. This recipe is fantastic ~ such a great alternative to boxed mac n cheese. Everyone was so hungry that I bumped up the oven to 400° and cut the cooking time to 15 minutes. My husband asked for seconds, the teenagers said you’re a genius, and my 4 year old asked if I would make it every night. Can’t get much better than that!

  3. Nikki on April 10, 2014 at 8:26 pm said:

    This looks wonderful!
    This may be a dumb question, but if I wanted to do this as a freezer meal, how would I do that?
    How long would it generally have to be cooked for from frozen, or would you unthaw first?
    Sorry if this is dumb! I’m about to start making freezer meals for the first time so I’m just learning. Your website is great!

    • Not dumb at all! I generally will thaw frozen mac and cheese before I cook it — just take it out of the freezer and let it thaw in the fridge for a day or two first. Then you just cook as directed, which takes the guesswork out of it.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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