With mac and cheese, the term “healthy” is probably the last thing that comes to your mind because most people think of it as comfort food. However, there are several ways in which you can tweak your mac and cheese to give it a healthy touch.
Let’s read some interesting and innovative mac and cheese recipes –
Macaroni and cheese ham pie
In a large bowl, mix 2 cups of the cheddar cheese, ham and uncooked macaroni. Spread it in a pie plate. In the blender, place milk and eggs. Blend on medium speed until smooth. Mix flour and baking powder and add salt; blend until smooth. Pour over mixture in the pie plate. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Garnish it with the remaining cheese. Bake for 1 to 2 minutes, until the cheese is melted. Let it stand for 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with parsley.
Mac and beer cheese cups
Heat oven to 375°F. Place a foil baking cup in each of the 18 regular-sized muffin cups. In a small microwavable bowl, microwave 1 tablespoon of the butter uncovered on high for 15 to 30 seconds or until melted. Stir in bread crumbs; set aside. Cook and drain the macaroni. Meanwhile, melt remaining 3 tablespoons of butter in a 4-quart saucepan over low heat. Stir in flour. Cook for 1 minute, stirring with whisk. While continuing to stir, add milk and beer. Cook and stir for 1 to 2 minutes or until thickened and smooth. Stop heating it; stir in the cheese, salt and pepper. Add cooked macaroni; stir well. Add a spoon of about 1/4th cup macaroni into each cup. Top each with scant 1 tablespoon bread crumb mixture. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until topping is golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes; remove from pan. Garnish with bratwurst or popcorn.
Making homemade mac and cheese healthier
Use whole wheat or brown rice pasta. Explore other pasta shapes outside of macaroni, like farfalle or penne. Swap out pasta and use quinoa or farro instead. These hearty whole grains will add different nutrients, with more fiber and protein compared to regular pasta. Reduce the amount of cheese and milk by adding creamy cooked vegetables like pumpkin or sweet potato. Substitute plain Greek yogurt or cottage cheese in place of some of the shredded cheese. Add in vegetables to bulk up the dish with fiber and potassium, while lowering calories, fat and sodium.
Cauliflower mac and cheese
This recipe uses cauliflower to improve the fiber along with adding an entire serving of vegetables. Cauliflower is a very versatile vegetable that takes on the flavours with what it is cooked, it’s even difficult to notice the difference in taste. You might have discovered your favourite mac and cheese recipe by now, so start collecting your ingredients right away from a Nature’s Basket store near you. You can also log on to www.naturesbasket.co.in and order online.