Wednesday, April 21, 2010

stove-top "lighter" mac n cheese

When there is a craving for fun-shaped macaroni & cheese, there's no stopping it.  You can't ignore it.  You can't fight it.

Oh, and steak.  

Confession: the recipe called for 5oz of cheese.  I added a little more (SHHH!!!)  I also said "to HELL with the recipe calling for all low-fat cheddar cheese!"  That stuff sucks.  Instead?  Sharp cheddar & fontina mix.*  Oooo baby!

*Swapping out low-fat cheddar for other full fat cheeses would also alter the nutrition content.  Many apologies, as I tend to throw caution to the wind when it comes to cheese! 

This recipe is from Cooking Light- the goal was to get a good mac & cheese recipe that wouldn't force me up a dress size each time I eat it.  Especially when it's one of our* favorite, happy foods.  And at 252cals (as written/per serving,) this definitely fits the bill.  The calorie-saving technique is to use low-fat cream cheese.  This simultaneously makes for a creamy sauce and adds some cheesy flavor, all while eliminating the need for butter, heavy cream, and a larger amount of shredded cheese.

*I have been told that when say "our" or "we" on the blog, I sound like I am speaking in the Royal 'We.'  Let us just make believe this is so, shall we?  I will answer to "Your Highness."  Thank you.

MMMMMM!!!  Look at that creaminess!!  Also?  With the addition of fontina, this got crazy-stringy.  Which, as we all know, stringy cheese = awesome.  So essentially, addition of fontina means crazy-awesome.  And wagon wheels!  You know whats great about them?  More little crevices and surface area for the cheese to cling to!

Now, the only change I would make is to scale back on the dijon mustard.  The flavor was way too strong, and dominated the pasta.  I would try only 1tsp of dijon, maybe less.  I do hope to play around with different cheeses or finishing this in the oven with a breadcrumb or cheese crust.* 

*Should be noted that the addition of breadcrumbs or more cheese would increase the caloric content. 

As you can see, we also had green beans with mushrooms and steak with the mac n' cheese.  Life was good. 

Creamy Stove-Top Mac N' Cheese Light
serves 6, from Cooking Light

4c uncooked pasta (like shells, elbow macaroni, or favorite fun shape!)
3tbsp all-purpose flour
1tsp salt
1/4tsp black pepper
2 1/4c fat-free milk
1/4c  (2 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
2tsp dijon mustard
2tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2tsp minced garlic
1 1/4c (5 ounces) shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese

Cook pasta, drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, over medium-high heat, add milk to a large saucepan.  Wisk in flour, salt, and pepper until well blended.  Drop in cream cheese by teaspoonfuls and bring to a boil.  Stir constantly.  Reduce heat and simmer until thick and the cream cheese has melted, about 2 minutes.  Stir in mustard, Worcestershire, and garlic and simmer for 1 more minute.  Remove from heat and add cheddar cheese, stirring until melted. Add in pasta & coat.


  1. You do realize that when you come visit me I'm going to be a terrible host and make you cook for me... mmmm fooood

  2. I'm already planning the menu....