I was hoping not to catch it, but my messy kitchen and dining area is all telling. What else is there to do but cook, bake, and make crafts?
I found out that the only way to cure cabin fever is to eat comfort foods. So I’m in for the cure, even though our current diet is mandated by the “eat less red meats, fats, cholesterol, salt, and sugar” mode of our lives.
But thank goodness for the unwelcome snow/winter storm/blizzard conditions that have us home bound for days on end. It’s the best reason I can think of to splurge on the comfort foods we reluctantly abandoned.
Mac ‘n cheese is the first dish I had to make. Now don’t think less of me for doing this, but I made my mac ‘n cheese with low fat cheddar cheese and Smart Balance butter alternative.
I bet you’re saying who wants to eat comfort food that’s not overloaded with fat and cholesterol, but I didn’t want to kill myself just yet.
You could say my sister came to my rescue. It’s possible she may be a better cook than I, but let’s not go there. Her mac ‘n cheese is a favorite in her house (that’s her opinion) and she suggested I try it. How bad could it be? I have to say it was really good and earned the “comfort food” honor for this horrible weather week.
Here’s the recipe which I hope you will try if you are looking to cut back on the high fat cheese and butter.
- 3 cups shredded reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded Gruyère cheese (optional - I had this left from another recipe and it added an additional level of flavor
- 2 TBLS. butter alternative
- 2 TBLS. all purpose flour
- 1½ cups reduced fat milk
- ⅛ tsp. grated nutmeg (optional)
- 8 oz. whole grain elbow macaroni cooked
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Make a roux with the melted butter and flour stirring for a minute or so to cook the flour. Add the milk and keep stirring until slightly thickened. This takes anywhere from 4-9 minutes -- give or take a minute or two depending on the heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add the nutmeg if you desire.
- Cook the elbow macaroni al dente -- don't overcook it. Drain the macaroni and put into a baking dish coated with a non-stick cooking spray.
- Slowly stir the shredded cheddar cheese (saving ¼ cup for topping), and most of the shredded Gruyère (saving ¼ cup for topping) to the milk mixture until well blended.
- Pour the milk and cheese mixture over the macaroni, stirring to evenly coat all the macaroni.
- Sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese evenly over the top of the macaroni.
- Bake in a 350 degree oven until the cheese is bubbling and melts on top. About 15-20 minutes.