I love the food network! If you’re a foodie like me I’m sure you love it too! The other day I caught an episode of Eat St; a show dedicated to fun and hip food trucks preparing out of this world food, like Mac Genie. A food truck serving up unique mac n’ cheese dishes that everyone swoons to during their lunch hour in Indianapolis! So being the nutritionista that I am, I had to find a way to healthify the mac n cheese! I’ve managed to healthify this dish before, serving it up with creamy butternut squash, recipe here. But this time, I wanted a quick version. A stove top version! So here it is, a cheesy gooey mac n’cheese that is quick to prepare and will have your whole family asking for seconds!
Nutritionista Rant – dairy is not a part of my daily ‘diet’ and it is truly a cheat for me. I must admit, I love cheese. I grew up eating cheese! But now, I have a hard time digesting it and so I eat it sparingly. When I do opt for cheese, I choose a top quality organic local cheese. I’m not a fan of vegan cheeses, as I’ve had some really bad reactions to most brands and I would much rather eat the real deal. I always take a digestive enzyme before eating cheese or ‘heavier’ meals to help breakdown carbs, fats and proteins and aid in digestion.
Mac n’ Cheese
1 package (227g) gluten free macaroni from GoGo Quinoa, cooked al dente
1 cup unsweetened non dairy milk (organic soy, coconut or almond will work)
1 cup organic gruyere, shredded
1 cup organic cheddar, shredded
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 Bay leaf
1/2 tsp smoked hot paprika
sea salt and pepper
1 cup gluten free breadcrumbs (or panko-not gluten free, or brown rice flakes pulsed in a food processor)
2 tbsp flat leaf parsley
3 garlic cloves
sea salt and pepper
Add all breadcrumb toppings into a food processor. Pulse until combined. Set aside.
Cook pasta al dente (semifirm), approximately 10-12 mins. While pasta is cooking, heat milk on a stove top pan on low heat. Add in thyme and bay leaf, stirring frequently for 3-4 minutes. Add in additional spices, half the cheese and stir frequently until cheese is almost completely melted. Remove thyme and bay leaf. Once pasta is cooked, drain, rinse under cold water and pour into a baking dish (I used an 8×8 brownie pan as I did not have a small enough baking pan. It worked great! I oiled it up with olive oil to keep the pasta from sticking). Pour milk and cheese mixture over pasta. Top with remaining cheese and breadcrumbs and broil under low for approximately 5-6 minutes, or until browned and bubbly.
And there you have it! A simple, tasty and quick mac n’ cheese that is great served along side a mixed green salad.
Happy Meatless Monday!
Health & Abundance,
Samantha 🙂 xoxo