The Best Mac & Cheese

photo 2

Today was a workout day. What does that mean to a normal person who does not live inside my convoluted brain?

I get to eat a lot because I’m feeling virtuous! Obviously.

photo 2

Mac & Cheese is one of God’s most perfect comfort foods, even though it stretches out your waist band and makes you feel like Jabba the Hut after a few bowls. Most people seem to go for one of these options when approaching this creamy, decadent delight:

  1. Annie’s Organic Bunnies
  2. Cooked pasta + shredded cheese + splash of milk
  3. Cooked pasta + bechamel sauce with roux base and four cheese blend.

What I was hoping for was a middle option that replaced the pathetic flavors of #s 1 & 2 with something just as satisfying, but far more simple, as #3.

Voila. The search is over. Ladies and gents, for your eating pleasure, I give to you:

One Pot Mac & Cheese, a creamy and delicious adventure for your taste buds that will blow your mind and wow your senses. It’s unbelievably velvety and smooth, adaptable to any taste, and– here’s the kicker– it can be made almost borderline healthy! I may be stretching it a bit, but considering what goes into a decent M&C these days…this recipe is practically on Atkins.

photo 1

Because you’re cooking the noodles directly in the milk, the starch from the pasta thickens the sauce and makes it so rich that you almost don’t need any cheese. I used very little and supplemented with extra spices and flavors, but I think it would be extra tasty with:

pureed butternut squash mixed in with rosemary and crispy sagecashew milk (for those non-dairy folks) with curry and chickentopped with cayenne pecans and gorgonzola

Mac & Cheese

adapted from a few Pinterest recipes

1 T butter

2 c low fat or skim milk

2 c dry pasta (I used rice pasta and it was lovely)

2 cloves garlic, smashed and broken in half

1  t dry mustard

1.5 t salt

1/2 t garlic powder

1/4 to 1 c shredded cheese (I only used 1/4 c and it was wonderful, but it all depends on your tastes)

In a heavy-bottomed pot put the noodles, milk, garlic, butter, mustard, salt, and garlic powder. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce to simmer. Stir very frequently for 15-20 minutes, until the noodles are tender and the sauce is thick. You may need to add more milk if it gets too thick and the noodles aren’t close to being done. When they’re ready, turn off the heat and stir in the cheese.

That’s it. Ka-blamo. Sprinkle with chives, chopped walnuts, or do what I did and cover it with some sriracha sauce over a bed of mixed greens. Mmm-mm good!

photo 3

4 thoughts on “The Best Mac & Cheese

    1. Kevin! I used havarti, but I think a stronger cheese would be better if you’re going to use less of it: sharp cheddar and pepper jacks, maybe goat.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *