Macaroni and Cheese – All Grown Up

29 Feb

As I was flipping through my Real Simple cookbook the other evening, I came across a Macaroni and Cheese recipe. Much like a quiche recipe, Mac & Cheese can be sort of a catch-all dish, great for when things run low in the pantry.

What? YOU again?

This dish can be super decadent, so I made a few modifications in the recipe to cut some calories and fat (swapping out the whole-fat butter, milk and cheese that they listed for lower-fat or non-fat versions), and added in some protein and veggies.

Even at that, I had to run to Fresno and back 17 times to work off my meager serving. Ok, I didn’t do that…. I played with the cat instead…. While I sat on the floor, halfheartedly flicking the toy back and forth. And I even had to take a break from that – mostly to catch my breath. Moving your arm can be exhausting.

Macaroni and Cheese, c/o Real Simple (with modifications by yours truly)


5 TBSP butter (I used low-fat butter from Land ‘o’ Lakes)

1 lb pasta

1 1/2 C chopped broccoli

1 1/2 C chopped ham (I used leftovers of our honey baked ham from Christmas)

1/2 C all purpose flour

6 C milk (I used nonfat)

3 1/2 C cheese (I used reduced fat Cheddar, Parmesan, and smoked Gouda)

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Dash of nutmeg

Kosher salt & pepper


Cook pasta according to directions. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, melt butter in saucepan. Mix in flour to create a roux. Cook for about a minute or two, then add milk. Simmer for 5 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat and add cheese, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, salt & pepper. Mix until melted.

In the pasta pot, mix together pasta, cheese sauce, broccoli and ham.

Pour into 13×9 greased baking dish, cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for another 25 minutes, until browned and bubbling.

Serve and enjoy!

2 Responses to “Macaroni and Cheese – All Grown Up”

  1. Jackie February 29, 2012 at 9:38 am #

    mmmmm a carb fest without the guilt! Deeeeeeelish!

  2. Linda Vernon February 29, 2012 at 9:26 am #

    That looks so delicious. And the bread too! 🙂 mmmm

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