My family LOVES creamy macaroni and cheese. Here’s a quick and healthy version with veggies and low-fat cheese. I like to boost the healthy factor by using chickpea pasta (available at health food stores); however, you can use wheat pasta if you prefer. After trying this, you’ll never want to go back to the boxed stuff again!
- 2 medium carrots, shredded
- 1 lb chickpea pasta (macaroni, fusilli, or similar shape)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons whole wheat flour
- 3 cups skim milk
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 pinch ground nutmeg, or to taste
- 2 tbsp ground mustard, or to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
- 8 oz reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded
- Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, stir in the shredded carrots and pasta, and return to a boil. Cook for approximately 5 minutes, until pasta is “al dente” (firm), and carrots are tender. Drain in a colander in the sink, and rinse with cold water; set aside.
- Heat olive oil in the pot over medium-low heat. Whisk in the flour, and stir until the mixture becomes paste-like and light golden brown, about 5 minutes. Gradually whisk the milk into the flour mixture, and add nutmeg and bay leaf. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring constantly while sauce thickens. Remove bay leaf. Add mustard, salt and pepper.
- Stir pasta, carrots and cheese into sauce until mixture is warm and gooey. Serve immediately.
Image: shiu_ via Flickr