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Healthier Homemade Macaroni and Cheese Recipes

Indulge in lighter versions of everyone's favorite comfort food

Noodles with Butter and Cheese (Beginner Recipe)

Children in France are often served this pasta dish at home and in restaurants, although the cheese usually used there is Gruyere.

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked macaroni noodles (whole-grain blend)

2 teaspoons whipped butter, cut into pieces

1/3 cup grated cheese of your choice (reduced-fat cheddar, reduced-fat Jack cheese, or shredded Parmesan)

Preparation:

  1. Spread the noodles out in a medium-sized, microwave-safe bowl. Sprinkle the pieces of butter over the top of noodles. Microwave on high for 2 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle the grated cheese over the noodles and stir the mixture together. Microwave another 30-60 seconds to melt cheese.

Yield: Makes 1 large serving or 2 small servings.

WebMD Weight Loss Clinic members: Journal as 3/4 cup starchy foods with 1 tsp fat maximum + 1 ounce low-fat cheese OR

1 portion light frozen dinner

Nutrition Information:

Per small serving: 260 calories, 13 g protein, 38 g carbohydrate, 6.5 g fat, 3.5 g saturated fat, 5.2 g fiber, 17 mg cholesterol, 129 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 23%.

Light Stove-Top Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese (Intermediate Recipe)

Ingredients:

3 cups dry whole-grain or whole-grain blend elbow macaroni

1 tablespoon whipped butter

1/4 cup fat-free sour cream

5 tablespoons Wondra quick-mixing flour

1 1/2 cups low-fat milk

1 1/2 cups fat-free half-and-half

Salt and pepper to taste

Pinch or two cayenne pepper

3 cups shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese

Preparation:

  1. Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni (around 3 cups dry) and cook for 10 minutes or until al dente, then drain. Measure 6 cups of noodles, then pour them back in the large saucepan and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium-sized saucepan, melt the butter, then remove it from the heat. Stir in the sour cream and flour to make a paste. Whisk in the milk and half-and-half, and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to simmer, stir in salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper, and stir frequently until the sauce thickens (about 5 minutes). Whisk in an additional tablespoon of flour, if needed for desired thickness.
  3. Remove the sauce from the heat, add the cheese, and stir well (the cheeses will melt almost immediately). Pour the cheese sauce into the large saucepan with macaroni and stir to combine.

Yield:

Makes 6-8 servings.

WebMD Weight Loss Clinic members:

Journal as 3/4 cup starchy foods with 1 tsp fat maximum + 2 ounces low-fat cheese (or 1 ounce regular cheese)

Nutrition Information:

Per serving (if 8 per recipe): 339 calories, 23 g protein, 42 g carbohydrate, 9.5 g fat, 5.5 g saturated fat, 29 mg cholesterol, 4 g fiber, 320 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 24%.

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