Friday, March 15, 2013

Bacon & Broccoli Mac and Cheese

Sometimes, nothing sounds better than Kraft macaroni and cheese from the box with a big glass of milk. Mac and cheese is a classic comfort food, and today I want to take you on a journey from the classic to a healthier twist. By adding fresh veggies and reducing the amount of cheese and the fat content, you can still enjoy a heaping bowl of this classic dish. Feel free to add some chicken to make this a main course, or enjoy it with a small green salad. 

Bacon & Broccoli Mac and Cheese
Adapted from Cooking Light

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups broccoli florets
  • 8 oz. rigatoni
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. flour
  • 1 1/4 cup reduced fat milk
  • 2 oz. reduced fat American cheese, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 2 oz. extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Steam broccoli for 5 minutes, until tender; drain, pat dry, and keep warm in a covered bowl in the microwave.

Cook pasta in a large pot of water for 8-10 minutes, until al dente, then drain the water out and keep warm. 

Return the pan to the stove over medium heat and add the butter. Melt the butter in the pan and add the flour; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add the milk into the flour mixture, whisking as your pour to prevent any lumps. Cook for 1 minute until the mixture thickens.

Remove the pot from the heat and add the American cheese pieces. Stir until smooth. Next stir in the green onions, salt, pepper, bacon, and sharp cheddar cheese.

Lastly, stir in the broccoli in the pasta; serve immediately.

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