Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Stovetop Mac and Cheese

About a week ago, I was craving some food from Noodles & Co., specifically their mac and cheese with broccoli.

So Melissa searched for a mac and cheese recipe -- this one from Cooking Light -- and we simply decided we would add whatever vegetables we want to the finished product.
Stovetop Mac and Cheese
1 1/4 cups uncooked elbow macaroni (about 6 ounces)
1 cup low-fat milk
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 slices whole wheat bread
1 tablespoon melted butter
1/2 to 1 cup of vegetables
First, cook the noodles and make sure you take them out just a little al dente as they will cook later when combined with the cheese.

Combine the milk and flour and pour into saucepan and whisk constantly. When it's thickened (we used the same pot we cooked the noodles in, so it didn't take long), add the cheese, salt and pepper.

While the pasta is cooking, you'll want to throw the bread slices in a food processor until they are evenly ground. Throw the crumbs into a pan and cook for about 5 minutes. Then add the butter and cook for another 2 minutes.

Finally, add the noodles to the cheese mixture and stir to coat.

Grab a bowl and get ready for supper. Spoon about 3/4 cup of noodles and cheese and combine with the vegetables. I used peas, broccoli and tomatoes while Melissa when just for tomatoes. Then add 1/4 of the breadcrumbs.

If you add the breadcrumbs right at the end, they will provide a great texture contrast. The multiple vegetables I used also provided a contrast; both the peas and broccoli were inserted warm, but the tomatoes were freshly cut and provided a bit of a cool contrast. The tomatoes also gave a good color contrast.

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