Who doesn’t love cheese?! For the longest time when I first started my ‘healthier lifestyle’ adventure I tried to avoid cheese, among other things, yes- but cheese was my kryptonite. I did pretty well, avoiding cheese and butter and salt and all those yummy things that just make everything taste better. Well I’ve given up avoiding those things and now I’m choosing to consume them in moderation.
And along with cheese comes America’s all time favorite- the “Mac and Cheese”. Everyone is a kid at heart when it comes to macaroni and gooey, cheesy goodness- well I am at least. So I set our to find the ultimate healthy mac and cheese and I think I rather succeeded.
For you cheesy taste palette- the “Roasted Mac & Cheese”.
- Broccoli (cut into small florets)
- Yellow Squash (diced)
- Red Pepper (diced)
- Baby Carrots (diced)
- Whole Wheat Pasta
- Chicken Breasts cubed
- 1/4 c Olive Oil
- Minced Garlic
- 3 Tbsp Flour
- 1 1/2 c Milk
- 2 c Shredded Chedder
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Cayenne Pepper
- Salt and Papper
- Bread Crumbs
You’ll notice I didn’t give measurements for the veggies. Hey, I’m trying to be healthy here. Throw as much or as little veggies in there as you want. I went with about 2 c broccoli florets, 1 yellow squash, 1 red pepper and a half of those little bags of baby carrots, but do whatever you want. I also added chicken to the mix, I put in 3 breasts but add whatever you like. If you’re not sure how much sauce to make for the amount you’re adding it really just depends on how cheesy you want it to be. I was going for a less cheesy Mac & Cheese because I’m trying to be healthier. I used a box and a half of pasta with all those veggies and the chicken and it made a pretty decent sauce with the measurements in the ingredients.
Step 1: Preheat oven to 400. Set up a pot of water for the pasta and a large baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and coated with a little olive oil.
Step 2: Toss broccoli, red pepper, squash and carrots onto the baking sheet and coat with the olive oil. Bake for 20 minutes and remove from oven and set aside.
Step 3: Once water is boiling add pasta, cooking according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
Step 4: Sautee Chicken and set aside.
Step 5: Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds. Whisk in flour and cook 1 minute. Whisk in milk gradually, stirring until mixture is slightly thickened. Remove from heat and stir in cheese until well distributed and melted. Add red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.
Step 6: Mix the pasta, veggies and chicken in a big pot and add the cheese mixture a little at a time making sure you coat all of it. Add to a casserole dish and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake at 500 for 5-10 minutes until the bread crumbs are crispy and brown.
Step 7: Grab a spoon and dig in.