8 oz. brown rice pasta
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup shredded sharp white cheddar
1/8 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Cook pasta and drain. Add milk and shredded cheese. Add salt to taste.
[Thank you eat.sleep.cuddle. for introducing me to this simple, yet delicious version of mac & cheese!]
I'm the kind of girl that follows recipes to the tee and measures everything, but this is one recipe where it's not necessary. Let your hair down and just wing it! There's not much you can do to mess it up. Live a little and try different cheeses (Gruyere, muenster, monterey jack, etc.). Be wild and add some pressed garlic, Italian seasoning, diced tomatoes, or fresh basil. Get really crazy and mix in a few drops of truffle oil!
I love using my microplane grater to finely shred the cheese so that it melts easier. If your shredded cheese is more course or if you just prefer a creamier mac & cheese, heat the milk and cheese in a saucepan until the cheese is melted. Then add to your cooked pasta.
Using whole wheat pasta is an easy way to add extra nutrients. Unfortunately, my kids won't eat whole grain pasta. I don't even like it. They do like brown rice pasta, so I use that instead. My kids can't tell a difference between brown rice pasta and white pasta!
Instead, I purée white beans, steamed zucchini, or steamed cauliflower in my Cuisinart food processor that I got for Christmas from my sweet mother-in-law. The flavors are mild enough that my kids don't notice. I add the puree to everyone's individual bowls instead of the whole batch. Start off small. I only add about 1 tablespoon or less purée to each of my kids' bowls. If it passes the kid test, I add more to their second bowl or the next time I make it.
Beans are my favorite addition because it keeps my kids fuller, longer. Beans help stabilize blood-sugar levels, providing steady, slow-burning energy. They are an excellent source of folate, magnesium, and iron. Combined with grains, beans form a whole protein comparable to meat and dairy. My goal is to get my kids used to eating whole beans so I can serve them as a side dish instead of going to the trouble of puréeing them. Baby steps, right?
Do you have any tips to make mac & cheese healthier?
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