I love macaroni and cheese. But let’s face it: typical mac n’ cheese has a TON of dairy. I went about 8 years without having even one bite. But finally, I’ve found a way to make a delicious version that I can eat!
I begin the recipe by saying that my sister-in-law is pretty awesome. Here’s a picture of her with my 2-month-old nephew Scotty.
Isn’t he adorable? I love this kid to death. Anyway, April’s pretty great. She’s a great cook and is so much fun to bake and decorate cookies with. Luke and I went home last week to South Carolina to spend some time with our family and I had a blast decorating Halloween sugar cookies with her.
April was the first person to make me macaroni and cheese that I could eat. Like I said, she’s pretty awesome. And tonight, Luke and I were in the mood for mac n’ cheese, so she kindly texted us the recipe. I made a few healthy, lactose-free substitutions and added some fresh, roasted vegetables.
Here are the key changes I made:
- Almond milk instead of whole milk. Not only does almond milk contain WAY less calories, fat and sugar, it tastes great! Just make sure to get unsweetened.
- Smart balance light buttery spread instead of butter.
- Kraft cheddar cheese shreds. Some of these are lactose free! Check the back of the bag for “Contains 0 grams of lactose”.
- Veggies. I roasted tomatoes and broccoli and added them to the mix.
This is a great way to get kids to eat their vegetables. And feel free to make it even more healthy by using whole wheat pasta!
Here’s the amazing recipe:
- 2 heads of broccoli
- 1/2 package of cherry or plum tomatoes
- 2 tbs. olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 lb. macaroni noodles (any kind of small pasta will work)
- 8 tbs. Smart Balance light buttery spread
- 1/2 cup flour
- 4 cups almond or soy milk
- 16 oz. Kraft sharp cheddar cheese + extra for topping
- Paprika, to taste (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Chop the broccoli into small, bite-sized pieces. Cut tomatoes in half. Toss in olive oil and salt and pepper and roast in the oven for approximately 20 minutes, or until the broccoli is charred and the tomatoes are starting to burst.
- Boil pasta according to instructions on box. Meanwhile, heat butter in pan until melted. Add flour, milk and cheese. Watch carefully and stir occasionally until combined. Make sure not to burn the sauce! The final sauce should be thick and perfectly mixed.
- Mix pasta, sauce and vegetables until thoroughly combined. Pour into large baking dish (I used a 9x13 inch pan) and top with extra cheese. Sprinkle well with paprika, to taste.
- Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until bubbling and brown.