For as long as I can remember, macaroni & cheese has been one of my FAVORITE dishes. I mean, who doesn’t love it? Oddly enough, my mother the health freak never made me a homemade version growing up. Kraft was it. I believe it’s because in the 80’s people weren’t as food conscious as they are now a days. You know, the whole “gluten free, vegan, organic, soy free, dairy free, nut free” blah blah blah blah blah wasn’t a big concern back then. But now….it’s enough to give you a damn headache isn’t it? I’m just finally starting to not be confused going to whole foods. It took a while though.
So, now that I have my own cherubs…I only want to give them the best. Carter lives on Macaroni and Cheese. It’s his favorite thing to eat by far and the only thing I don’t have to beg him or bribe him to eat. I have always given him the “Annie’s” brand which seemed like a better choice compared to most. Then I started thinking, “how hard could it be to make a basic mac and cheese that’s super easy?” I would rather give him something I make myself then something that is processed and out of a box. So my hunt began. I found quite a few recipes, however it was one from Cooking Light Magazine that I found to be the BEST with a few modifications of my own of course! Much to my surprise, not only did Carter LOVE it…but Chase and I were standing over the stove eating it right out of the pan. It was yummy! Seriously took me 15 minutes to make it. Add some veggies to it! Or sometimes I will throw some ground flaxseed in there, the kids won’t know the difference.
I have an amazing fancy Mac & Cheese that tops ANY RESTAURANT I’ve ever been too which I will share soon. It’s labor intensive though but sooooo worth it (Ina….of course). However this is just a simple, easy peasy and semi-healthy version that I can whip up on a moments notice. I now keep blocks of cheese in my house at all times. They come in handy! This is delicious by itself but for us adults sometimes I like to serve it as a side dish with some grilled chicken or something lighter.
Here is what you need:
1 1/4 cups uncooked elbow macaroni (about 6 ounces)
1 cup 1% low-fat milk
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) shredded american cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
Cook pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, combine milk and flour in a medium saucepan, stirring with a whisk. Cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add cheese, salt, and pepper, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Add pasta; toss to coat. Let stand 4 minutes.