Thursday, October 6, 2011

Too-EZ Mac 'n Cheese

Per Serving (¼th of recipe, about 1 cup): 5 Points+
202 calories, 4.5g fat, 825mg sodium, 36g carbs, 5g fiber, 6g sugars, 8.5g protein 

The recipe: "Hungry Girl 1-2-3", pages 98 - 99

I have been meaning to try this recipe for a VERY long time.  Macaroni and cheese is one of my 2-year-old's favorite meals, and I was interested in trying a more healthy version to see if he would like it.  The problem was, I couldn't find any of the Green Giant Cauliflower & Cheese Sauce.  I checked three different grocery store chains and didn't find it at any of them.  As an afterthought, I checked at our Super Target, and FINALLY found it!  I've never been so excited about cauliflower in my life!

My sister and my dad were both over for dinner this past weekend, so I thought I'd try this recipe out on everyone to get several opinions (I made a recipe and a half to make sure I had enough food).  The best part about this recipe was that it was super easy to make.  While cooking the pasta, I heated the cheesy cauliflower in the microwave.  Once everything is ready, just mix the cauliflower and some Laughing Cow cheese wedges in with the pasta, and dinner is served.  Nice!  I ended up cooking some chicken breast as well, which I added to a salad so the dinner wouldn't be without a protein.  

The dinner got mixed reviews.  I thought it was pretty good, and so did my sister and my son.  My sister and I added Frank's Red Hot sauce to it for extra flavor, which I usually do when making regular macaroni & cheese as well.  Yum!  My two-year-old loved it, and didn't even realize that the mac & cheese was not only made with whole-wheat pasta, but was also half cauliflower.  Score one for the veggies!  That alone will be the main reason I make this again.  It is kid-friendly and has secret veggies hidden in it.  Mine even liked it enough to eat the leftovers for lunch the next day. 

My husband and my dad were not huge fans.  Men!  They said it was a little bland, but I had purposely not added much salt or pepper so everyone could add it to their own tastes.  Apparently my Dad is not a big cauliflower fan, either, which is why he said he didn't like it much.  I didn't think it had much of a cauliflower taste at all, but I also thought it tasted good, so to each his own.  My husband is always complaining about my healthy cooking, so I have learned to tune him out at this point, and his opinion doesn't count anyway. ;)

Overall, a pretty good dish that I would recommend trying, especially if you have kids.  If you are a mac 'n cheese fan, this is a pretty good substitute.  And for only 200 calories, you can't beat it!

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