Who doesn’t love Mac and Cheese? Most “diets” have this on the no-no list but that’s cruel, so I worked on a low cal version inspired by Candice Kumai’s Platinum Mac and Cheese and came up with a tasty, low cal, high protein version that is great as a main dish or a side dish. My 2 year old even loves this meal, and there is no mystery orange powder, so I know what I am getting when I make it and that is why I love this Mac and Cheese recipe. The beauty of this meal is you can choose whatever cheeses you want, I love Gruyère and Parmesan, just make sure you choose strong cheeses, the sharper and stinker means more flavor without having have to use as much and therefore you cut the calories without cutting the flavor.
What you will need for 4 heaping servings-
2 ½ cup Whole Grain or Whole Wheat Penne Pasta
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp flour
1 ½ cup unsweetened Almond milk
1 tsp garlic powder
⅛ cup Parmesan cheese
⅛ cup Gruyère cheese
1 tbsp Herbs de Provence
¼ cup Panko bread crumbs
Pre-heat oven to 450 and coat a casserole dish with cooking spray.
Cook the pasta according to package until al dente, drain and set aside. In a large pot melt butter over med-low, add in flour stir in a figure 8 until it is a thick slightly browned paste, add the almond milk and garlic powder bring to a low simmer and stir often for about 15-20 minutes until its thickened and it coats the spoon you are stirring with. Take the heat down to low then dump in the pasta, stir until all coated, toss in cheese and stir until melted and evenly distributed. Move to casserole dish, sprinkle with herbs, then panko crumbs then a little more Parmesan cheese and place in oven until top is a crusty, browned and beautiful about 15 minutes.
If you are making this as a side dish cut it into 6ths to cut the calories down to 200 per serving, it is still a whole lot of mac and cheese goodness!
This meal isn’t just yummy, it’s good for you too! Full of protein, calcium and potassium so you can enjoy and know you are also doing something good for your body.