Fashionably Fit: Healthy Mac ‘n’ Cheese
October 6, 2010
I’m Ashley of Fashionably Fit, where I blog about my adventures as a bride-to-be who’s maintaining a 120-pound weight loss. I am really excited to share a post on Yumventures, because whether you are losing or maintaing weight, Sophie shares the kinds of recipes that exemplify healthy living. They’re not diet foods; they’re healthy, whole, delicious foods meant to be enjoyed in moderation.
I’m going to share my experience making Fitness Magazine’s Healthy Mac ‘n’ Cheese recipe. I always cringe a little when I see “lightened up” versions of comfort foods, because lightened or not, cheese-soaked pasta is not something I’d eat every day. Light or not, it’s still an indulgence! That said, I think these recipes are a great way to indulge in your favorite foods without feeling deprived.
The key to this recipe is the onion-garlic puree, which adds a creamy element without adding any extra fat or calories. Normally, I shy away from recipes that require a lot of steps (and that dirty a lot of dishes) but this dish sounded too good to pass up out of laziness. I wouldn’t try it on a weeknight, but it’s perfect for Saturday afternoon or Sunday night.
As instructed, the onion, garlic and 1/2 cup of water were put into the microwave for 10 minutes, then dumped into the mini-chopper, where it was transformed into a paste into no time at all.
Then came the fun part: Bring the onion-garlic puree to a simmer in a small sauce pan and add the cheese, stirring as it melts. In the interest of full disclosure, I did not use low-fat or fat free cheese, simply because we already extra sharp cheddar on hand.
Then you add the Greek yogurt.
Then, you toss the pasta (I ended up using rigatoni and penne, because I had a little bit of each leftover from other dishes) with the cheese sauce.
Top with the bread crumbs (my grocery did not carry panko) and bake as instructed, and this beauty will emerge from the oven.
Even though I used the full-fat cheese and regular bread crumbs, this dish was still better than a macaroni and cheese that called for lots of heavy butter and cream. Between the Greek yogurt and onion-garlic puree, it was so creamy and full of flavor, you’d never guess it was a “lightened” dish.