Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Mac and Cheese

Almost every kid loves Mac and Cheese. Around here I make and freeze ours in batches so we have it when we need it. We have been known to eat boxed mac and cheese at times...only the organic ones of course but this is much healthier especially if you add some veggie puree and some chopped veggies to it. By changing up the ingredients you can create something rich and almost sinful or a delicious healthy meal.

Mac and Cheese

4 cups Pasta (whatever small pasta I have on hand)

3 tbs Butter

3 tbs Flour

1 cup Milk

1 cup Cream*

3 cups Cheese grated any combination of cheeses ex: Cheddar, Monterrey Jack, Colby, Parmesan...

¼ cup Cream Cheese*

1-2 cups Chopped Veggies ex: Broccoli, Carrots, Squash...

2-4 tsp dried spices ex: parsley, garlic, thyme, sage, nutmeg...

Boil water and cook pasta. If you like your veggies softer you can steam them for about 5 min or mix them in raw for a added crunch. While pasta is cooking make the cheese sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, add the flour and spices and whisk with the butter. Cook the butter and flour for 1 min stirring constantly. Add the milk and/or cream and whisk until the flour and butter is well blended. Continue to stir until the sauce thickens. Mix the cheese and/or the cream cheese in the sauce and stir until melted. Drain the pasta and mix with the sauce and the veggies. Pour into two 6 cup casserole dishes. Bake at 350° for 30 min.

Or cover and freeze to bake later. If frozen bake 400° for 50 min

*Any combination of cream to milk can be used. Just be sure to have 2 cups. I have used just Milk or 1/4 cup Cream and 1 3/4 cup milk. Try different combinations depending on your tastes.
The cream cheese can also be left out if desired.

Sometimes I like to add bread cubes to the top of the mac and cheese. To do this mix small bread cubes with 1 tbs melted butter, add to top of the pasta before baking.

I also like to add different pureed veggies to the sauce. I mix in the puree when I am adding the cheese. Some of my favorite puree to use are butternut or acorn squash, carrot, and sweet potato. Start with about 1 cup of puree taste and add more if desired.

1 comment:

  1. This looks yummy, but I'm the only person in my family who likes mac and cheese! Isn't that ridiculous? I found a yummy mac and cheese casserole recipe with chicken and broccoli that's really light. Doug actually likes it but Tatum won't go near it with a ten foot pole - she doesn't do casseroles :(