Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Light(er) Macaroni and Cheese

Today is Graham's second birthday! Next to Annie's Organic Fruit Snacks (he would eat 15 packs if I'd let him), I think macaroni and cheese is his favorite thing. Having a non-working oven plus G2 and I trying to eat a little lighter, I had to come up with a work around for regular homemade macaroni and cheese for his birthday dinner. Normally, with it being a special occasion, I would just skip the eating lighter thing, but we went out to lunch after the Children's Museum today AND it's Graham's uncle's birthday tomorrow night, so we'll be out again. So, I used a weight watchers (gasp) recipe as a base, and came up with a delicious, albeit somewhat unattractive, version.

1 Tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp flour
14.5 oz fire roasted tomatoes, diced
1 cup 2% milk cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup whole milk
2 Tbsp parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 tsp dry mustard
8 oz whole wheat pasta shells

Boil the shells in salted water according to package directions (about 15 minutes). Melt the butter in a large skillet and saute the garlic for a few minutes. Add flour and stir constantly, making a roux, until golden. Add canned tomatoes and cook a few minutes until thick. Add cheeses, milk, mustard and salt. Stir until cheese mixture is smooth, then toss cooked pasta in the sauce until well coated. That's it!

This was really good...the fire-roasted tomatoes made it seem as if I had used smoked cheddar. It turned out a little like pasta with tomato cream sauce more than macaroni and cheese, but we all really liked it. Of course, I think Graham was more excited about the blue cupcake he had picked out earlier for his special birthday treat. The real birthday cake is to come this weekend (hopefully). We'll just have to see how that pans out without an oven!

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