Homemade Easy Enough for a Hectic Weekday Meal
One of the great advantages of being part of the team that facilitates the Fit Family Challenge is occupying a front row seat to all the great information provided by our Expert Panel. This week, panelist Cindy Silver, a registered dietitian, shared her recipe for Super Duper Easy Mac and Cheese.
The recipe looked similar to my homemade mac and cheese recipe, except that mine is not all that easy. Mine requires more steps, ingredients and cookware. That's why my family typically only sees my homemade mac and cheese on special occasions, such as when Halley's Comet makes a pass overhead.
Therefore, I decided to surprise my family last night and try out the recipe. If Cindy's recipe was indeed that easy, why not throw it together as a side dish for a hectic weekday family dinner?
I did slightly modify the recipe. Rather than accept a prescription for a cholesterol-reducing medication, I chose to modify my diet after my last yearly physical. My dietary modifications included eliminating butter, processed sugars and white pastas, breads and rice. Therefore, I used olive oil instead of butter and selected a whole wheat pasta rather than your typical white elbow macaroni.
My family enjoys cheese blends, so I used one of Cindy's cooking tips and used reduced-fat sharp cheddar for half the cheese. One quarter of the cheese I used was ricotta. The remaining fourth was goat cheese.
It took me about ten minutes to prepare the dish, which included shredding the cheddar and gently blending all ingredients in my lasagna pan, per the instructions. Hubby put the chicken on the grill when I put the mac and cheese in the oven. An hour later, just as Cindy promised, we had a pan of delicious mac and cheese that was super duper easy to make. Served with wilted greens, green beans and grilled chicken breast, the mac and cheese was a hit.
After last night, my old recipe has officially been retired. And, much to the delight of my family, homemade mac and cheese is no longer a special occasion dish.
Register your family for the 2015 Fit Family Challenge, a free healthy family program, and learn more about fitting family fitness into your routine as well as qualify for weekly prizes and a grand prize.