Okay, here I am with another question for my foodie friends! (Note: I'd be grateful if you posted your responses here rather than FB/Twitter/G+, so I can keep everything together in one place. I cannot find anything on FB after a day or two after it's been posted, and I rarely even check Twitter, and I'm on G+ even less. Thanks!)
This time, I’m looking for a reasonably healthy macaroni and cheese recipe. I say “reasonably” because it’s hard to make something full of cheese super-healthy, but I want to strike a balance. I’ve been eating Amy’s Organic frozen mac and cheese, but it’s expensive, and doesn’t use whole wheat/whole grain pasta. I’m choosing it over boxed mac and cheese – which I can get as whole grain and organic – because if I make a box of mac and cheese, I will eat the entire box. And it’s still more processed than I’d like.
So what I’m thinking is, if I make my own (either in the crock pot or oven, or on the stove), then I can freeze it in portion-sized amounts.
I’ve done a little research and found bits and pieces of recipes that sound good, but I can’t seem to find one that covers everything I’m trying to do – and I’m not a good enough cook to know how to combine recipes.
Here are my parameters:
- Ideally less than 400 calories per serving (where a serving is a reasonable size, not a quarter of a cup or some such bs).
- Whole wheat/whole grain pasta – doesn’t really affect the recipe; I can just substitute.
- No ingredients beyond pasta, cheese, and things that make it saucy. No breadcrumbs, no onions, no cauliflower. Those things are all fine and sometimes I do want a dish like that, but right now I’m looking for bog-standard comfort-food mac and cheese.
- When I see the phrase “low fat,” I think “chemical shitstorm.” I’d rather have a strong-tasting full-fat cheese and use less of it than use a blander low-fat cheese that will trigger my body to eat more.
- A little flour or cornstarch is fine, yogurt/milk is fine. I’m open to suggestion.
Here are some of the recipes I’ve looked at online. None of them fit all my parameters, so one question is, how could I combine these ideas?
Fitness recipe. What I like is the idea of using Greek yogurt for creaminess. What I don’t like is the onion-garlic puree (I could see trying it later, though), the breadcrumbs, or the reduced-fat cheddar. Would ditching the puree and using regular cheddar keep it below 400 calories, I wonder?
Food Network Squash Recipe #1. I know I said nothing funky, but eventually I’d like to try something like this one, with squash. Will it appreciably change the flavor? (I add squash, carrots, all sorts of stuff to spaghetti sauce and it doesn’t change the flavor, but then again, tomato sauce is different than cheese sauce.) What would happen if I left the squash out but used the same basic recipe? Likes: Ricotta, regular cheese. Dislikes: Lowfat milk (it’s not enough to make a big calorie difference, though), doesn’t give calorie count.
Food Network Squash Recipe #2. Ditto questions about squash above. Likes: Yogurt (would use regular, not non-fat), decent calorie count (but how far would it go up w/regular yogurt and cheese?). Dislike: The low-fat/non-fat options.
AllRecipes recipe. Likes: Basic and simple. Dislikes: Low-fat stuff, and what’s the calorie count?
Blissful recipe. Would cauliflower puree make it bland? Otherwise, my biggest issue with this one is the lack of calorie count…I’m guessing it’s high, given the cream cheese.