Like I have said in previous post I am a pasta lover, but it does not always seem like it belongs in a diet. I have found a magazine called Cuisine at Home, that has shown me how to make some of the pasta dishes I really like into a healthier version.
I have always like mac and cheese, whether it was from the box or homemade. My mom would make it when we would have fried chicken and it was a very homey meal for my family. I figured this is one of the things that I would need to cut from my diet, but this has shown me a way to keep it in there every once in awhile.
I made some of my own changes to this recipe, but used it as a base to get me going. I added some chicken to this as well, to get me the protein that I need. I also used macaroni noodles instead of the penne noodles that they suggested.
If I was the one not making the dish, I would have not known that it was a healthy mac and cheese or that it contained cottage cheese and low fat milk. I was a little hesitant to give this a try since I do not like cottage cheese, but the way it is incorporated I could not tell what cheese I was eating. As a lesson, do not be afraid to try something different as you never know how it will turn out. This is one to give a try on the whole family.
2 medium chicken breast
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 oz dry whole wheat macaroni pasta
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup low-fat milk
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
1 cup shredded extra-sharp cheddar
1. Heat the oil in a pan. Cook the chicken until it is not pink. Set aside.
2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 1 quart baking dish with nonstick spray.
3. Cook the pasta in boiling water; drain. Add the chicken.
4. Toss the bread crumbs and pepper together in a small bowl.
5. In a food processor, add the cottage cheese, mustard, salt and cayenne until smooth.
6. Heat 3/4 cup milk and garlic in a sauce pan over medium heat until milk steams. Whisk the flour into the remaining milk and add to the heated milk. Mix until thicken. Whisk in the cottage cheese mixture until smooth.
7. Stir in cheddar cheese until melted. Pour over the noodles and chicken and mix well. Transfer to the baking dish and top with the bread crumbs.
8. Bake the mac and cheese until the bread crumbs are golden, about 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
9. Serve and enjoy.
Leave a comment below and let me know what you think of the healthier version of mac and cheese.