Today, I tried a low-cal recipe for mac and cheese with veggies. I have to admit, it was not a home run. It was more like a foul ball. But, with a few tweaks, I think it could be good. Here’s the story…
I modified the recipe from one I found when searching Pinterest. I added more veggies, and also non-fat plain Greek yogurt for creaminess – both of which I liked.
What would I change next time? I’d stay completely away from low-fat cheese, I’d use more cheese, I’d add kale, and I’d trade the gluten-free pasta for the protein-packed kind. Those changes alone could take this dish to a very good place.
Next time, I’ll use these ingredients:
- 3 cups uncooked high-protein pasta (my recipe called for gluten-free pasta)
- 1/2 red pepper, chopped
- 1/2 orange pepper, chopped
- 1/2 green pepper, chopped
- 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
- 1 cup baby portabella mushrooms, chopped
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 very large handful of kale, tough ribs removed, then cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 individual-serving size tub of non-fat plain Greek yogurt
- 1 1/2 cups skim milk
- 3 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese – 2 cups in the mix, and one cup on top to get bubbly and crispy (my recipe called for 1 1/2 cups of low-fat grated colby jack – 1 cup in the dish and 1/2 cup on top)
- Freshly ground black pepper
And here are the steps:
- Cook the pasta til al dente (remember, you’re also going to bake it!)
- While the pasta cooks:
- Heat a large skillet on medium-high (7 out of 10) for about a minute
- Add 1 tsp olive oil to the skillet and let heat for about a minute more
- Add chopped peppers and onion, and cook for about 2 minutes
- Add the chopped mushrooms and corn, and cook for 3 minutes more
- Add the kale and cook about a minute longer (the kale should be bright green and softened a little)
Wouldn’t kale have looked pretty and added some healthy leafy greens?
- Remove from heat, pour veggies in a large bowl, then add milk, yogurt, 2 cups shredded cheese, and black pepper
- Add the cooked pasta to the bowl, then mix everything together
- Put into a 9X12 baking dish, and add the remaining cup of shredded cheese to the top
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes, or until the top is brown and bubbly (use the broiler for a minute or two if needed to get a good crisp on top)
This definitely needed more cheese on top!