Do you love comfort food? I know I do but I also know what it does to my waist line.
Like most runners, I have a love affair with pasta. Like a good majority of women, I have a hate of pasta – or maybe it is just carbs in general. I was really happy when my daughter came up with a “skinny, and slightly more healthy, version of the comfort food Mac and Cheese. Try it some evening for dinner and see if your family likes it as much as mine.
Skinny Baked Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese Recipe
(Recipe from skinnytaste.com – my alterations in italics)
12 oz high fiber elbows like Ronzoni Smart Taste (I tend to use whole wheat)
1 tbsp butter (margarine)
1 tbsp light butter(margarine)
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup minced onion (I love onion so use a half an onion)
2 cups skim milk
1 cup fat free chicken broth (vegetarians use vegetable broth – This was my choice but I have made with chicken broth also. Both good.)
8 oz (2 cups) Sargento shredded reduced fat sharp cheddar
salt and fresh pepper to taste
12 oz fresh broccoli florets (I used pre-cut bag) (I bought broccoli and cut up myself. I use the stems to make veggie broth at a later date.)
1/8 cup grated parmesan
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
cooking spray (I used a butter flavored cooking spray.)
Cook pasta and broccoli together in a large pot of salted water, according to package directions for al dente (or slightly under cook 2 minutes)(I tend to put broccoli in at about half the cooking time of the pasta as I don’t want green water or pasta.). Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 375°.
In a large, heavy skillet, melt butters. Add onion and cook over low heat about 2 minutes, add flour and cook another minute, or until the flour is golden and well combined. Add milk and chicken broth and whisk, raising heat to medium-high until it comes to a boil; cook about 5 minutes or until the sauce becomes smooth and thick. Season with salt and pepper.
Once the sauce is thick, remove from heat, add cheese and mix well until cheese is melted. Adjust salt and pepper to taste, add cooked macaroni and broccoli and mix well. Pour into prepared baking dish. Top with grated cheese and breadcrumbs. Spray a little more cooking spray on top.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, then broil for a few minutes to get the breadcrumbs golden.