As promised. I wanted a macaroni and cheese recipe that was healthier and lower in fat, and this is what I came up with. Really nice.
Macaroni and cheese
2 cups (dry measure) whole wheat corkscrew pasta (Barilla and Rotini both have good flavor and plenty of protein and fiber)
2 T olive oil
2 T flour
1-1/4 cups skim milk
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1 slice low fat American cheese
3 T grated full-fat, strong-flavored cheese (Cheddar will do, but play around and use what you have in the fridge)
3 T. grated low-fat Mozzarella
1/3 cup Parmesan-flavored bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 375 and spray olive oil on a square 8-inch baking dish.
Boil pasta, being careful to avoid overcooking.
Heat milk until hot but not boiling, and add the Parmesan, the American cheese, and 1 T each of the strong cheese and the mozzarella, stir to start the melting. Have this ready to add to the skillet on the next step.
Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat (careful to keep it from getting too hot) and lightly brown the flour. (I burned it the first time, which always irks me, and had to start over.) Add the milk/cheese mixture, stirring continuously as it thickens to a good consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Drain the pasta and settle it into the baking dish, and pour the sauce over it. Top with the remaining cheese and the bread crumbs and back for about 30 minutes. Let stand for a few minutes before serving.
Here’s the happy part: divide into four hefty servings and get away with: 387 calories; 13 gms fat; 18 gms protein; 46 gms carbs; and a lovely 6 grams of fiber.
Compare that to a regular serving of homemade mac and cheese: 548 calories, 34 grams fat; 1 gram fiber. (The full version is a little higher in protein, but worth the trade off, no?)