Let's hope everyone reading this article is ready to ban the blue box from their kitchen (at least for the day) and is open to the magic of homemade macaroni and cheese. And as the "Recipe Doctor," of course, I'm going to lighten this historic American recipe a bit. Nutritionally, there are three ways to improve on homemade macaroni and cheese:
- Make a lower-fat and saturated fat cheese sauce. You can do this by reducing or eliminating the butter, using lower-fat milk instead of whole milk or cream, and substituting a reduced-fat cheese with lots of flavor.
- Use a higher-fiber noodle. Several brands of whole-grain or whole-grain blend pasta are available in most supermarkets. Most taste great, and they boost the nutrients and fiber in the dish.
- Add some veggies. Hot pasta dishes such as macaroni and cheese offer the perfect opportunity to work in a serving of nutritious vegetables, including red bell pepper, broccoli or cauliflower florets, spinach, or carrots. Stir in the lightly cooked veggies right before serving or serve them aside the macaroni dish.
Macaroni and Cheese Recipes
With these three tips in mind, here are three macaroni and cheese recipes for you to try; one recipe for beginners (perfect for younger kids who aren't quite ready for sauces), one for the intermediate macaroni and cheese eater (a light version of a more traditional American recipe), and one for the more advanced eater (a light version of a fancy restaurant rendition with lobster or crab and stronger-flavored cheeses).