I still can't believe that The Skinny Fork is almost 5 years old! As time goes on, I continue to go back and revisit older recipes, and this is just one of them that desperately needed an update in the looks department. As usual, everything else has remained the same!
Mac-n-cheese is purely a comfort food. It is one thing that is always in stock in my home and one of the few things that I can count on my daughter readily filling her belly with - without any epic battles.
This was also one of the most popular requests made when I asked family and friends what they would like to see lighter versions of. Seriously? One of the hardest dishes to make healthy since it includes basically nothing other than milk, cheese, and noodles.
I'm up for a challenge.
I've seen a few healthy versions floating around, but nothing which had that ooey-gooey rich and creamy appeal that we all know and love. It's what we crave. You can admit it, I'll keep your secret safe.
I kept this recipe light by avoiding heavy cream like it was the plague and adding in half a head of pureed cauliflower. It was perfect. The addition of the cauliflower bulked up the sauce and gave the illusion of that cheesy goo which we all hate to love.
No one noticed the cauliflower. No. One. It also got a big thumbs up from the mac-n-cheese expert of the house, A.K.A. my daughter, and let me just tell you... she is a mac-n-cheese snob. Can I say this was delicious? Oh. Yes.
Healthified Broccoli Mac-N-Cheese
TheSkinnyFork.com - Originally Posted February 23, 2013
Servings: 8 • Size: About 1 Cup • Calories: 249 • Fat: 5 g • Saturated Fat: 2 g • Carb: 40 g • Fiber: 3 g • Protein: 11 g • Sugar: 5 g • Sodium: 124 mg
12 Oz. Whole Wheat Noodles, Dry & Uncooked
1 1/2 C. Broccoli Florettes, Chopped Roughly
2 C. Cauliflower Florettes, Chopped Roughly
2 C. Fat-Free Milk
2 Tbsp. Light Butter
1/4 C. All-Purpose Flour
1/4 C. Onion, Chopped
1 C. Reduced Sodium Fat-Free Chicken Broth (Or Vegetable Broth)
1/8 C. Parmesan, Shredded
1/2 Tsp. Paprika
Pinch of Nutmeg
Pinch of Cayenne
Salt & Pepper
Cook 12 Oz. pasta, 2 C. cauliflower, and 1/2 C. broccoli together in a large stockpot of salted water, according to package directions for the pasta.
Remove the cauliflower with a slotted spoon and place into a blender along with milk. Blend until smooth and set aside. Leave Broccoli and noodles to drain.
In a large, heavy skillet, melt 2 Tbsp. butter.
Add the 1/4 C. onion and cook over low heat about 2 minutes before adding in the 1/4 C. flour. Cook for another minute, or until the flour is golden and nutty.
Add the milk and cauliflower mixture and the 1 C. broth.
Stir constantly while raising heat to medium-high until it comes just to a boil; cook about 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
Once the sauce is thickened, remove from heat and add 1/8 C. cheese, 1/2 Tsp. paprika, a pinch of nutmeg, and a pinch of cayenne. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Mix well until cheese is melted.
Add in the cooked macaroni and broccoli and stir to combine.
Mix well and serve right away to enjoy!
Nutritional Claims: Low Sodium, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Soy Free, Fish Free, Shellfish Free, Pork Free, Red Meat Free, Crustacean Free, Celery Free, Mustard Free, Sesame Free, Lupine Free, Mollusk Free, Alcohol Free, No Sugar Added