There is really no reason to buy boxed macaroni and cheese- it is so easy and fast to make your own- plus you can control the amount of fat and salt.
Of course I understand why people buy the boxed kind- I do too- sometimes you just don’t have the time or the inclination to cook anything. I do buy the healthy box and have a bunch in my pantry. It is my emergency ‘go to’ for last minutes play dates that turn into a dinner date, etc.
I was making an adult dinner and something that my daughter was not that much into. I was going to give her some components of the meal but I was missing the starch part. I thought of mac and cheese. I went into to my well-stocked pantry to look for a box of macaroni and cheese- well, what do you know- it was not as well stocked as I thought. I couldn’t find any… That is when I decided to make my own. Honestly, it took me less than twenty minutes to cook. I immediately put a pot of water to boil for my whole wheat pasta. I took out some butter (oil can be substituted) and flour; cooked them for a minute and added some milk. I always have shredded cheese in the fridge- in this case, I had a mixture of Italian cheeses- delicious! I added the cheese and my sauce was done. I then added the cooked pasta and topped the whole thing with some more cheese and placed the frying pan under a broiler and browned it- done!
My daughter gave it a thumbs up! She loved it- and I gave it to some of her friends the next day and they all ate it up- no mention of the whole wheat pasta at all. Try this one next time your child asks for macaroni and cheese…
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons white whole-wheat flour
- 1½ cups one percent milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ pound whole-wheat penne, cooked al dente
- 1½ cups mix of shredded four Italian cheeses- parmesan, provolone, fontina and asiago (available at Trader Joes)- divided
Preheat oven to broil.
In a medium frying pan heat the butter and add the flour. Whisk the flour on medium heat till the butter is melted, about 2 to 3 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk, making sure no lumps remain. Add salt and nutmeg. Bring to a boil and cook till it is thickened- about 3-4 minutes. Turn the heat off and whisk in one cup of the shredded cheese. Add the cooked pasta and mix well. Top the mixed pasta with the remaining cheese and broil for 7 to 8 minutes or till the top is golden brown.