We all know that sticking to a diet or eating clean all the time can be hard at times. Occasionally we crave some of our favorite foods and indulge and that's totally okay. I've come to realize that if I have a craving bad enough, it's probably best to give in instead of holding out until I am so hungry for something that I binge eat. I've also found that there are typically ways to jazz up my old favorites so that they are much, much healthier than the original.
Yesterday was cold and rainy and I just really, really wanted some mac and cheese. Not the crap out of the box, but good old fashioned, creamy, homemade mac and cheese. I knew I had to have it or I was going to go insane wanting it for the next week.
I scoured the internet and came across this recipe and modified it a bit to make it my own and slightly healthier. I knew you guys would want to try it too so I thought I'd share the recipe!
1 package Garden Delight Veggie Pasta (or any veggie pasta)
1 cup broccoli
1 cup sliced carrots
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (my husband thought this was the best part)
6 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
3 tbsp whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups skim milk
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp minced garlic (or more!)
1) Boil your pasta according to the package.
2) While your pasta is boiling, throw all of your veggies and chicken in a skillet (whether fresh or frozen) and cook them until they are soft and cooked through.
3) Once your veggies, chicken and pasta are cooked, drain them and mix them into a casserole dish. Heat your oven to 450 degrees.
4) Heat the olive oil and garlic in a skillet on medium heat. Mix in your flour and cook for about a minute until completely dissolved. It should be somewhat thick. Slowly mix in your milk, stirring constantly. Cook until a thick sauce forms - this should only take a few minutes. You should have no lumps. Remove from the heat and mix in most of your cheese until it melts, saving a bit if you wish for topping.
5) Mix your sauce in with your veggies and pasta, top with an optional bit of cheese, crackers, or panko - whatever floats your boat. Throw in the oven until the top browns (about five minutes), pull out, let set for a few minutes and then serve hot and gooey and delicious!
We all LOVED this dish. It was super easy to make and was a complete meal in one. It was SO filling too! This will go into the occasional 'must-have' list that I keep tucked away for days when I know I have to have some good old comfort food.
Nutritional Value Per Serving (Serves 6): 465 calories, 48 carbs, 20 fat, 25 protein, 262 sodium. 4 sugar