Guilt-Free Mac 'N Cheese

Guilt-Free Mac 'N Cheese

*VIDEO included* Stovetop macaroni and cheese that's simple, nutritious, and easy on the stomach. Gluten-free, low-lactose, onion-free, and low-FODMAP.

By DeliberateFare.com, variation of Laura Koehly’s baked macaroni and cheese

Double back-story for this study of comfort food.

In grad school, our statistics professor, Dr. Koehly, was always cooking up clean food and living a veggie-filled lifestyle (she grew her own). One day, in her cozy kitchen, she blew my mind by throwing clean eating to the wind and focusing instead on comfort food (which was certainly in need after taking her midterm exam!), teaching me how to make baked old-fashioned mac and cheese (the kind that is made with Worcestershire sauce, processed cheese, and wheat). Her recipe is made with love and is by far the best mac and cheese you will ever taste. With my tummy issues, I gave it up a long time ago…until now. With the addition of lactose-free milk and the two hard cheeses, this is actually a low-lactose mac and cheese recipe, and low-lactose means easy on the stomach. And the brown rice pasta and wheat-free flour make it easy to digest.

My sister is always looking for healthy, fast, kid-friendly dinners for my nieces. Well, this fits the bill for my 4-year-old niece, but not the French fry-loving little 1 and ½–year-old…yet. By removing the baking step from the original recipe, this one is quick so that my sis can have dinner on the table in under 30 minutes.

INGREDIENTS

METHOD

  1. Fill a large pot with water, leaving about a 1 – 2 inch margin from the rim. Place pot onto stovetop at high heat, and bring water to a boil. Add salt and pasta. Bring water to boil again, and reduce heat to medium-high and allow pasta to cook for 9 minutes (or according to package instructions).
  2. While pasta is cooking, cut cheese into ½ ounce slices. Set aside.
  3. In a small sauce pan on stovetop at low heat, heat milk. Do not allow milk to boil or burn.
  4. Time to drain the pasta. Before draining, remove one piece of pasta and taste to make certain it is cooked to your liking. Drain pasta in a colander over sink. Set aside.
  5. OK, time for the roux! Gear up, disable all distractions, and prepare to concentrate for the next 10 minutes…this is a great meditation time. I cannot stress enough how much you must give your undivided attention to constant stirring in this step. Seriously, stop texting!
  6. In large pot, add butter; melt. Using medium-high heat, immediately add flour, and whisk mixture constantly. Allow mixture to cook for one minute in order to remove the flour flavor. Immediately add to the mixture the heated milk, whisking constantly and allowing the mixture to thicken. The sauce should be the color and texture of a tasty, white gravy. Take a wooden spoon, stir the sauce, and run your finger along the back of the spoon to form a thick line. If the line holds and looks like ski tracks in the snow, then you have done the job well!
  7. To sauce, add reserved cheese, a few ounces at a time. Stir frequently with wooden spoon. Do not allow cheese to settle to bottom of pot and burn. Allow cheese to melt completely between additions. The sauce should now be a light, golden orange in color and velvety in texture. Remove from heat. Add to sauce nutmeg and pepper; mix well.
  8. Pour sauce over reserved pasta. Using wooden spoon, gently stir to evenly coat pasta with sauce. Before serving, top with paprika. Serve warm.

SUGGESTIONS

  • Keep in mind that 1 ounce of each cheese is considered a serving, so stick with 1 cup servings.
  • IF there are any leftovers, store in storage containers in refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Migraine Warning: Cheese.


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