Category Archives: Meatless Monday

Homestyle Mac N’ Cheese

March 9, 2014


Not much brings me comfort quite like my mummy’s mac n’ cheese.  Whenever I’d be feeling a little down, or the day had been too rough, it was always there- a warm hug on a plate, letting me know that everything would be just fine. 

These days, I only eat mummy’s mac when I need the big guns- those times when I need to feel her hug, even though she’s passed on.  I’m a firm believer that a good part of her lives on through her food, and there are times, when only that creamy mac n’ cheese will fix what ails me.

BUT, when it’s a Tuesday, and I need some mac for next to no reason at all, I turn to my mac n’ cheese makeover.  Half the calories, a quarter of the fat and four times the fiber.  NONE of the guilt. ALL of the satisfaction. 

Homestyle Mac N Cheese
6 tbsp unsalted butter (go ahead, use the butter)
6 tbsp flour
1/2 lb whole grain elbow macaroni
3 cups fat free milk
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp paprika
2 1/2 cups low fat shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Butter or spray a 2 quart baking dish.
Boil pasta- about 7 to 10 minutes

Melt butter in a 3 qt saucepan over medium heat.  Stir occassionally.  Slowly add flour and stir continuously, being sure not to brown.  Cook for 3 minutes.  Add salt, pepper, and paprika.  Slowly stir in 3 cups of milk and continue to cook for 3 to 5 more minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in 2 and 1/2 cups of shredded cheese.  Add pasta, stir, and pour into prepared baking dish.  Sprinkle the top with 1/2 cup of panko breadcrumbs and a bit of extra cheddar cheese.  Bake @ 350 for 25 to 30 minutes.  Let sit for 5 minutes before serving. 

**Tip- if your baking dish seems full, place it on a cookie sheet prior to placing into the oven.  This will catch any sauce that may bubble over. **

Nutrition Comparison

Mum’s and most others per serving: 570 calories, 32g fat, 67 g carbs, 1.8g fiber

Mine per serving: 235 calories, 8 g fat, 28 g carbs, 8 g fiber

Creamy Sundried Tomato and Artichoke Tortellini

September 23, 2013

This tasty dinner comes with a shortcut supper version.  Make it from scratch, or take a hand from some store bought ingredients.  Either way, you’re in for a crowd pleasing meal!

1 family bag of 3 cheese tortellini (barilla)
1 and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/2 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
*I get my peppers in a jar, pull out 3 or 4 and chop them up*
1/4 cup capers
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup dry milk (trust me)
1 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped

Prepare tortellini as directed.
While it’s cooking, throw your tomato, artichokes, peppers, and capers in a deep sided skillet with a swirl of olive oil.  Cook down for 2-3 minutes, and add chicken stock, along with the dry milk.  Stir and simmer for 5 minutes.   Stir in cheese and reduce heat to low.  When pasta is ready, drain, and toss in.  Stir and heat an addition 2-3 minutes.  Eat and enjoy!

**SHORT CUT**
Instead of all the prep with the artichokes, peppers, and capers- a few companies make some GREAT artichoke bruschetta that is a perfect and quick sub-in.  Trader Joe’s and Delallo’s are 2 of my favorite “go-to’s” that I keep in my pantry.  1 jar will do you!

Meatless Monday- Bruschetta Avocados

August 19, 2013

This is a quick and easy Meatless Monday meal.  Just like every other busy person, sometimes I want something really quick and really easy to throw on the table.  Tonight, these guys are it!  Perfect on their own, or paired up as a side to some grilled chicken or fish.  Give them a whirl!

Bruschetta Stuffed Avocados

(You know it’s easy when there aren’t measurements!)

You Need:

Avocados- enough to feed everyone.  Figure on 1 and 1/2 per person if they are a stand alone, or 1/2 of one if it’s a side.
Pre-made Fresh Bruschetta- check your deli or refrigerated produce section for this
Grated Parmesan and Asiago Cheese
Breadcrumbs
Olive Oil

                                                                                  
Now it gets tricky… Not really.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees, and halve your avocados.  I usually make the pit “hole” a bit larger, so that more stuff fits in.  Then, spoon a few spoonfuls of bruschetta into each half.  Mix up some of the cheese with some breadcrumbs, and moisten with olive oil until it forms a paste like consistency.  Top each avocado half with the breadcrumb mixture and toss into the oven for 13-15 minutes.

Eat and enjoy!
See… wasn’t that easy?

Until next time…. give it a swirl!
J