Saturday, March 29, 2014

From the Kitchen - The Empty Nest

Grown Up Macaroni & Cheese
The macaroni and cheese that comes in a box and is the approximate color of a Halloween pumpkin is on my list of 'banned substances that shall not pass between my lips'. In other words, it's not good for me.
that doesn't mean I can't have macaroni and cheese.
My grown-up version is healthier, quite tasty, and, well, just follow along, you'll get the picture.

While the macaroni is bubbling away,

I start with this. I usually have vanilla almond milk in my refrigerator, which really wouldn't work well in this recipe. So, I keep a box of this in my pantry. Very handy.

Just add water, and give it a stir. All set.

Next, I assemble the ingredients for the sauce. Along with the non-fat milk, I use fat-free sour cream and reduced-fat shredded cheddar. The Parmesan and Dijon give it a little extra zing.

I get out this gizmo and give it a whirl.
I love using my gizmos. How did I ever get along without them?

Next I cube up ham. This makes the dish a meal in itself.

Decisions, decisions. Should I put onion powder is the sauce, or perhaps the minced onion? Maybe some of the french fried onions on top?

All are good options. This time, I've chosen the french-fried onions on top.
Did you know that you can sprinkle these on top of a hamburger, along with a dollop of bbq sauce? Tasty.
Sorry, back to the recipe.

Bake it, dish it up, gobble it up.
It's not orange, and it may take longer to prepare, 
but, is it ever good.
Happy Saturday

Macaroni and Cheese

2/3 C macaroni
1/2 C skim milk
1/2 C reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 C fat free sour cream
1-1/2 Tsp grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 Tsp salt
2 Tsp Dijon mustard
1/8 Tsp ground black pepper
1 C cubed cooked ham

Preheat oven to 325°. Prepare macaroni according to package directions. Coat a 4 cup covered glass casserole with cooking spray. Combine milk, cheddar cheese, sour cream, Parmesan cheese, salt, mustard and black pepper in casserole. Fold in macaroni and ham, stir gently. Cover and bake 20 minutes, until heated through and bubbly. 2 servings
*Options: add 1/2 Tsp fresh onion, 1 Tsp minced dried onion, or 1 Tsp onion powder to milk before blending sauce, or top casserole with french-fried onions. 

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