Sometimes life is tidy, organized, and served on pretty little plates. Other times, it’s messy, choppy and served on whatever bowl or tray you can find…because all of your real plates are either in boxes Right now life is composed of the easiest of easiest and simplest of dinners, today it’s Healthier Mac and Cheese.
We are moved! Bags were packed, truck was loaded, unloaded and 4 hours later, we were home. Finally living in the new digs otherwise known as Casa T. T = last name… Casa = you get it. And boy does it feel nice.
Our first full day here, I went a little nuts. I’m talking full blown psycho level unpacking with blasting music, dripping in sweat, pony tail on the side of my head unpacking frenzy. Sprinting into the garage for boxes then either going into basement or kitchen or rooms or living room! And to add to it all, my ADHD tendencies kicked in where I would start organizing one space and then get distracted with something messy over there and before I knew it I was off to another room starting another project. After about 2 hours of this I realized I had about 5 little projects half way completed. This approach = NOT efficient. In the after much focusing, signing, running and random dance moves, I wrapped most things up. Are we totally unpacked… not even close. But I was able to get my room aka the kitchen mostly stocked, living rooms organized, baby’s room and bathrooms ready to go! That being said its been 3 days since that and my feet still hurt haha.
Food wise, we are trying to just stay fed. In addition to unpacking our place, we are also all sick with colds, and have a good amount of work to do on the old house. So just eating real food is the goal right now. My goal is to keep us feed with semi-healthy meals especially since we are sick but still need some energy to power-through. This is where my Healthier Mac and Cheese comes in.
The healthier part of this recipe is all in the cheese sauce. Mmmhmm. And let me tell you that it is no less cheesy and indulgent. My secret is a bit of yogurt to add to the creaminess and protein. Also you’ll notice the recipe is not laden with butter or pounds and pounds of cheese. This recipe is perfect for times when you don’t have much in the fridge, don’t feel like washing lots of dishes and don’t feel like cooking much… aka right now.
Alright, I’m off to whip this mac up quickly, throw it in the oven and then put my feet up. In 30 minutes we will be stuffing our face with this cheesy goodness and then probably crashing. Exciting stuff right 😉
Healthier Mac and Cheese
Notes: this is a great make-ahead meal too! Make it without putting it in the oven. Then cover it with plastic wrap and bake whenever you are ready to eat it! Don’t forget this is an awesome left over work lunch or finger food for the little ones.
- 1 lb elbow macaroni
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1 1/4 tsp salt (if salt sensitive use less and salt to taste after cooking)
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 2 cups milk (whole or lowfat)
- 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, reserve 1/2 cup for the topping
- 3/4 cup Greek yogurt (whole or lowfat)
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Stir in the elbow macaroni. Cook al dente following the instructions on the package. Drain the pasta in a colander and spray a bit of cool water over it to keep it from sticking together.
In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, salt, and black pepper. Stir to form a thick paste.
Slowly whisk in the milk. Whisk mixture or roux for a few minutes (2-3) until it thickens and begins to bubble around the edges.
Turn off heat and whisk in grated cheddar cheese. Stir until cheese is melted. Stir in the Greek yogurt until smooth. Add the cooked macaroni into the sauce, making sure all the pasta is evenly coated with cheese sauce.
Pour macaroni with cheese sauce into a buttered 2 quart gratin or 8×8 baking dish.
Add the last 1/2 cup of cheese and Place in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes until the top is golden brown.