Friday, March 11, 2011

Healthier Mac & Cheese Plus a Deal

You will probably see me posting more mac recipes in the future because I want to start experimenting with them to find the perfect one (kind of like the chili thing.) It's kind of weird that I'm actually cooking macaroni because I've always been the kind of girl who prefers Kraft or Velveta Shells and Cheese to the homemade kinds despite tasting some great ones. This recipe makes a really creamy mac and cheese.

Slightly Healthier Macaroni & Cheese
serves 4

1/2 lb. Barilla Plus Elbow pasta
7 TBSP Smart Balance Omega-3 Spread
3 TBSP Flour
1/4 sweet or yellow onion, sliced
1 bay leaf
1/8 tsp dried Thyme
2 1/4 cups 2% Milk
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
Pinch of Nutmeg
3 cups sharp cheddar, shredded
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs

Cook pasta according to directions on the box.  Drain pasta well. 
Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Butter/spray/grease a baking dish. I used a 2 qt. Corningware dish.
Melt 5 Tbsp butter substitute in saucepan over medium heat. 
Add the thyme, flour, onion, and bay leaf; reduce heat to medium low and cook for 3 minutes stirring constantly. It should form a roux. 
Slowly stir in the milk until well-blended.
Raise the heat back up to medium-high until it boils. Then lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes uncovered.
Strain the sauce to remove the onions and bay leaf. The onions aren't part of the dish. They help to give the sauce extra flavor. 
Add salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cheese. Stir until cheese is melted.
Mix the sauce with the pasta before transferring to the baking dish.
Melt 2 Tbsp of butter in the saucepan.  Add breadcrumbs and then spread over the macaroni.
Bake until lightly browned about 35 minutes.

I know that I recently pimped another yogurt. But I have another favorite as well, Atlanta Fresh Yogurt. This stuff is seriously addicting. It's a local company (obviously) who uses grass-fed cows in making their yogurt.  It's a greek-style yogurt (the best I've tasted) and offers more interesting flavors than your average yogurt dealer- Vanilla Carmel, Peach and Ginger, Tropical Sweet Heat, Black Cherry Port Wine (pictured) and their newest a Mexican-Chocolate flavor, Chocolate Rocket. They also sell fresh mozzarella and creme fraiche. However, I will never look at Creme Fraiche the same way after watching South Park. For your enjoyment,

But this brings me to my next point, I went to their store today and got an AWESOME deal. I purchased a case of yogurt, a bulk size yogurt, and a ball of fresh mozzarella for...wait for it...a total of $15! I got this great deal by using Scoutmob, a local deal site. If you are in Atlanta and don't have an account, get one now. You can either download the app on your phone or have the daily deals emailed to you. It is free to use and gets you 50% off at fun local restaurants, boutiques, spas, etc. They also offer this for San Francisco and New York but I'm sure more cities are on the horizon.


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