Posts Tagged ‘Mac ‘n cheese’

This recipe appeared in Cooks Illustrated in 2006.

Is there a grown-up person anywhere who cannot remember some of the most amazing macaroni and cheese from their childhood?  Well, I am one of them!  I ironically hate cheese, but my sister Betsy raves about this mac-n-cheese recipe for her kids that is LIGHT and EASY.  This so-called “comfort food” has a zillion recipes, and some people probably prefer the good-ole Kraft box mac and cheese ….but I am personally a big believer in ‘home-made’, but it also has to be easy and quick! This recipe is SPEEDY, easy, and delicious. Mac and cheese is an easy to prepare dish and your kids will eat it without complaint—

As a note, don’t be tempted to use either pre-shredded or nonfat cheddar cheese in this dish—the texture and flavor of the macaroni and cheese will suffer considerably. For best results, choose a low-fat cheddar cheese that is sold in block form and has roughly 50 percent of the fat and calories of regular cheese (we like Cabot brand).

  • Salt 
  • 3/8 lb. elbow macaroni (about 2 cups) 
  • 1 (12-ounce can 2 percent reduced-fact evaporated milk 
  • 2/3 cup low-fat milk (2 percent) 
  • ¼ teaspoon dry mustard 
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder or celery salt (optional) 
  • pinch cayenne pepper 
  • 2 tsps cornstarch 
  • 8 ounces 50 percent lighter chedder cheese (Cabot 50% Light Sharp Cheddar or Cracker Barrel Reduced Fat Sharp Cheddar Cheese or what you find at the grocery store), grated (about 2 cups) 

1. Bring 2 1/2 quarts water to a boil in a large saucepan. Stir in 2 teaspoons salt and the macaroni; cook until the pasta is completely cooked and tender, about 5 minutes. Drain the pasta and leave it in the colander; set aside.

2. Add the evaporated milk, 1/2 cup of the 2 percent milk, mustard, garlic powder (if using), cayenne, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the now-empty saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Whisk the cornstarch and remaining 1/4 cup milk together, then whisk it into the simmering mixture. Continue to simmer, whisking constantly, until the sauce has thickened and is smooth, about 2 minutes.

3. Off the heat, gradually whisk in the cheddar until melted and smooth. Stir in the macaroni, and let the macaroni and cheese sit off the heat until the sauce has thickened slightly, 2 to 5 minutes, before serving.

Cal 360; Fat 10 g; Sat fat 6 g; Chol 40 mg; Carb 45 g; Protein 24 g; Fiber 1 g; Sodium 720 mg

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One of our Le Top moms, Robyn, is concerned about her daughters getting enough vegetables in their diets (especially given that one of them is a picky eater), so she has been doing research on ways to hide those nutrient filled veggies in foods they love. She found a recipe from The Sneaky Chef for mac-n-cheese that has cauliflower, carrots and zucchini pureed in it. Your kids won’t know it not only tastes good, but is also nutritious and good for them. Try the banana pancake recipe with carrots and sweet potatoes. Yum! And, if your child has a major sweet tooth, there is a Brilliant Blondies recipe that has white beans, oat bran, whole wheat flour, and wheat germ. These recipes can all be found at http://www.thesneakychef.com/. Though some may seem a bit bizarre, these are great tasting recipes that will fool your kids into getting exactly what they need to keep them growing healthy and strong. Of course, there is nothing that can truly trick them into eating vegetables, so don’t give up on the real deal. You never know if they get used to the taste, one of these times when they actually try their vegetables they may decide they are A-okay. 🙂

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The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids' Favorite Meals (Paperback) by Missy Chase Lapine

The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids' Favorite Meals (Paperback) by Missy Chase Lapine

I was always the picky eater in my family. Looking back, I honestly don’t know how my mom dealt! I never liked anything my parents put in front of me, especially vegetables (well, OK, I would eat Mac ‘n Cheese – but that was about it!). If I had it my way, it would have been cereal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
As I begin to think about having kids of my own, as well as watching friends and family raise their own picky eaters, I’m beginning to wonder how on earth I’m going to deal with a child who won’t eat what I put in front of them: Will I use the “3 bite” rule? Will I make them sit at the table until they finish (or at least try) what I’ve given them? I can’t imagine I’d just fix them something else? What will I do?!?
My friends don’t seem to be having much luck themselves, except, Sarah, who’s doing the hide-the-nutritional-stuff-in-their-food trick. There is actually a cook book out by Jerry Seinfeld’s wife, Jessica, on doing just this. How fantastic! The book is called “Deceptively Delicious” and has an array of kid-friendly recipes that hide the “good for you” in regular food, like Mac ‘n Cheese and Brownies! There is another book I’ve seen called “The Sneaky Chef” with the same idea. For some reason, though, Cauliflower Eggs doesn’t sound that appetizing…
What have been your tricks to get your picky eaters to gobble down your Chef-tastic meals? Have you tried any of these books, and do their recipes really help?! Let us know, and by all means, PLEASE share your Picky Eater Recipes!

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