Mac & Cheese
This healthy, homemade macaroni and cheese recipe is topped with plenty of golden breadcrumbs. If you want to add a little flair to this healthy macaroni and cheese, use aged Gruyere instead of Cheddar and add extra ingredients like peas, chopped cooked mushrooms or chopped ham. This recipe makes more Cream Sauce without the Cream than you'll need for the macaroni and cheese. Refrigerate or freeze the extra sauce and use it in place of heavy cream in any sauce or soup that calls for cream.
Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate cream sauce (Steps 1 & 2) for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator or using the defrost setting on your microwave.
Tip: To make your own fresh breadcrumbs, trim crusts from whole-wheat bread. Tear bread into pieces and process in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. To make fine breadcrumbs, process until very fine. To make dry breadcrumbs, spread coarse or fine breadcrumbs on a baking sheet and bake at 250°F until dry, about 10 to 15 minutes. One slice of bread makes about 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs or about 1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs. For store-bought coarse dry breadcrumbs we like Ian's brand, labeled “Panko breadcrumbs.” Find them at well-stocked supermarkets.
Variation: To make the sauce vegetarian, we like to use chicken-flavored vegetarian broth over regular vegetable broth for its hearty, rich flavor and pale yellow color. Look for “no-chicken” broth in the natural-foods section of well-stocked supermarkets.
4 1/2 starch, 1/2 lean meat, 1 high-fat meat, 1 fat