November 9, 2010

to die for!

Just a few weeks ago, I came across a new recipe from Fitness Magazine. It caught my eye and, wanting to put into practice all the new things I've been learning from watching Food Network, I decided to try it, but with my own tweaks. It is, hands down, mine and David's favorite meal that I make, and it's surprisingly good for you. You'll be excited to hear that it's a culinary classic -- Mac & Cheese.....Lite. It's creamy, crunchy, tasteful and tangy. This is one dish I just can't keep quiet about.

Here's my adaptation:

Ingredients (makes 8 servings):
Nonstick cooking spray
8 oz. whole wheat macaroni (I prefer corkscrew or Roman rigatoni)
1 c. onion-garlic puree (the secret weapon)
- 1 large Vidalia onion
- 12-15 garlic cloves
- 1/2 c. water
2 c. shredded reduced-fat cheddar (try white/sharp marbled cheddar too!)
2/3 c. nonfat Greek yogurt
1/2 c. whole wheat panko bread crumbs
1/2 c. shaved Parmesan
2 Tbsp lemon pepper
1 tsp Italian seasoning
Pinch fresh chopped parsley

To make the onion-garlic puree, rough chop the onion and garlic and place in microwave-safe bowl. Add water and salt/pepper to taste. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and microwave on high 10 minutes.
Pour the mixture into a blender; blend until smooth. (Can be stored in covered container in fridge for up to 6 days.)

1. Preheat over to 425 degrees. Mist 13x9" pan with cooking spray.
2. Bring large pot of water to a boil. Add salt, then pasta. Cook according to packaging, until al dente. Drain.
3. Meanwhile, bring onion-garlic puree to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring often. Add Italian seasoning and parsley. Whisk in cheddar until melted. Remove from heat and whisk in yogurt.
4. In a medium bowl, toss the noodles with cheese sauce. Season with salt/pepper to taste. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle first with panko, then lemon pepper. Top with Parmesan.
5. Bake until Parmesan is melted and pasta is hot throughout, about 10 minutes.

And for your convenience, the Nutrition Facts (per serving; about 2/3 c.)...

Calories: 237
Protein: 17 g
Carbs: 31
Fat: 7 g
Fiber: 3 g

If you're not excited yet, maybe you will be when you hear how inexpensive it is to make. Here's how:

- Kraft Cheese: almost always on sale & w/ coupons. You shouldn't have to pay more than $1 per block.
- Yoplait Greek Yogurt: Inexpensive, and coupons are always out for this brand. Pay no more than $0.40.
- Macaroni: Pasta is almost always FREE or next to nothing. Just wait for B1G1 deals and use a coupon.
- Progresso Bread Crumbs: This brand always has coupons and sales going on. Or, make your own from those crumbly loaf ends!

My total cost for this dish: $5.52

the mrs.

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