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Healthier Homemade Macaroni and Cheese Recipes

Indulge in lighter versions of everyone's favorite comfort food

Lobster (or Crab) Macaroni and Cheese (Advanced Recipe)

Ingredients:

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

1 tablespoon whipped butter

3 tablespoons light cream cheese

2 1/2 cups fat-free half-and-half, divided use

1/4 cup Wondra quick-mixing flour

1/2 cup white wine (or nonalcoholic beer)

3 tablespoons shredded or grated Romano cheese

1 cup shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar or white cheddar

1/3 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella or reduced-fat provolone

2/3 cup strong flavored cheese of your choice (gruyere, fontina, Jarlsberg, havarti, etc.)

1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

Freshly ground black pepper

8 ounces cooked and shelled crab or lobster meat, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Optional Topping:

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon finely chopped or minced garlic

2 cups coarse fresh wheat sourdough bread crumbs (add 2 large slices of wheat sourdough bread, torn into pieces, to small food processor and pulse into coarse crumbs)

Canola or olive oil cooking spray

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and coat a deep-dish pie plate with canola or olive oil cooking spray.
  2. Bring lightly salted water to a boil in a large saucepan and add noodles, cooking until al dente. Drain and return to large saucepan. Cover the pan to keep the noodles moist and warm.
  3. Meanwhile, in medium nonstick saucepan, melt whipped butter over medium heat until brown and fragrant (about a minute). Reduce heat to medium low or low and add the cream cheese and 1/2 cup half-and-half. Continue to cook and stir until a smooth mixture forms. Whisk in the remaining half-and-half. In a small bowl, blend flour with white wine and whisk this mixture into the half-and-half mixture in the medium saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil; continue to stir until sauce thickens (a minute or two).
  4. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in all of the cheeses, Tabasco, and black pepper as desired. If cheese isn't melting completely, return pan to stove and warm over low heat, stirring constantly until cheese melts. Pour sauce over the noodles in the large saucepan, and stir in the crab or lobster pieces. Spoon mixture into prepared pie plate.
  5. For topping: Add olive oil to small nonstick saucepan and get it hot over medium heat. Stir in the minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in breadcrumbs and continue to cook and stir until crumbs are golden.
  6. Spoon bread topping over macaroni and cheese, give the top a quick spray of canola or olive oil cooking spray, and bake uncovered at 375 degrees until bubbling (20-30 minutes).

Yield:

Makes 6 hearty servings.

WebMD Weight Loss Clinic members:

Journal as 1 1/2 cups hearty stews + 2 ounces low-fat cheese

OR 1 cup starchy foods with 1 tsp fat maximum + 2 ounces low-fat cheese + 1 serving lean fish without added fat

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