Both my friends Julie and Cara were talking about lower calorie versions of macaroni and cheese recently. While I sort of think putting “macaroni and cheese” and “low cal” in the same sentence is sacrilege, all the talk of the mac and cheese made me crave it. So, I decided to make some. Both of their versions used a cottage cheese/milk mixture for creaminess. For the record, I cannot eat cottage cheese alone but I can stomach it in things like lasagna when you can’t really tell it’s there. I was hoping this would be the case for the mac and cheese.
I didn’t cook the noodles before doing this but next time I would parcook them at the least. They definitely got cooked through, but I think it came out less creamy than it would have if I would have cooked the pasta first.
So obviously this is not as good as insanely buttery, uber cheesy baked mac and cheese, but I have to say it was quite good and satisfied my mac and cheese craving without being TOO bad for me.
Lower Cal Mac & Cheese
8 oz. uncooked pasta
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar [I used 2%]
1/4 cup smoked gouda
1.5 cups cottage cheese [I used 1%]
1.5 cups skim milk
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground pepper
1 tablespoon grated parmesan or romano cheese
1 tablespoon bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 375.
In a blender or food processor, puree cottage cheese, milk, mustard, parsley, onion powder, salt and pepper until smooth.
In a large bowl, combine cheddar, gouda, macaroni. Add cottage cheese mixture and toss to coat well.
Pour mixture into a greased baking dish (or 4 individual gratin bowls as I did).
Mix together parmesan or romano cheese and bread crumbs. Sprinkle over the macaroni.
Bake for 45 minutes.
I also made some barbecue chicken drumsticks tonight. I just skinned the drumsticks, roasted them with a salt/pepper/garlic powder rub until almost cooked through, and then broiled them a couple minutes after brushing them with some barbecue sauce. I didn’t have the time or supplies to make homemade sauce so we used Tom’s (and now my) favorite bottled sauce: Sweet Baby Rays.