Recipe Remix: Healthy Mac and Cheese - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Recipe Remix: Healthy Mac and Cheese

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - Chef David Pantone from Lincoln Culinary Institute is making a more healthy version of Macaroni and Cheese; it's a favorite and staple throughout the Southern USA, every college kids Go To dinner, and on every Kid's Menu in the Country.  Why, because it's AWESOME.  Well sometimes it awesome.  Sometimes it's really good.  But honestly, since it most of the time it comes out of a box and is not "homemade" it's really plain, bland, and taste like the box.  Weather store bought or homemade, it is usually very high in fat!  It usually contains whole milk or ½ & ½, butter, high fat cheese, and sometimes extra flour to thicken.  The Mac & Cheese ReMix Recipe is much lower in fat than the regular and has great flavor.  The key to remember when ReMixing a recipe to remove fat is that "Fat is Flavor".  So as you remove the fat, you need to add extra flavor.  While you're at it you should also add vitamins, minerals and fiber.

I have included 3 new recipes.  The first is the ReMixed Traditional Cheddar Cheese Mac & Cheese.  In it I blend fat free cottage cheese with the shredded EXTRA Sharp Cheddar cheese and some skim milk to make the sauce.  Fresh broccoli is added because it's delicious and the right thing to do.

The second recipe is a very hearty and boldly flavored ReMix.  Using the same idea of the cottage cheese for creamy texture, I add richly flavored sautéed mushrooms, onions, garlic, sweet bell peppers and fresh spinach.  I thin the creamy sauce with some "pasta water" fresh from the pot.(Pasta water is one of the secrets of great pasta dishes!)

The third dish is way off the hook; Smokes Salmon, Low Fat Cream Cheese, Red Onions, Scallions, Dill, and Arugula.  A WINNER!!!


Traditional Mac & Cheese has – between 450 and 550 calories and about 20 to 29 grams of fat.
ReMixed Traditional Mac & Cheese has 260 calories and less than 5 grams of fat.
(ReMixed Hearty Hunter Style Mac & Cheese has 260 calories and less than 7 grams of fat.)
(ReMixed Palm Beach Sunday Brunch Smoked Salmon Mac & Cheese has 280 calories and less than 7 grams of fat.)

Now We're Cooking!!!



Traditional Mac & Cheese – Traditional

Preheat oven to 350
(ReMixed Traditional Mac & Cheese has 260 calories and less than 5 grams of fat.)

3 Cups fat free cottage cheese
1 cup skim milk
8 ounces Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 bunch fresh broccoli, just flowerets, cooked in the pasta water before the pasta, drain, reserve
1 pound macaroni – your choice of shape, cook, drain, return to pot
12 Triscuit crackers, crushed by hand into very small pieces – or your favorite brand
   

Place cottage cheese and skim milk in blender and blend until very smooth.  Add ¾ of the cheese and blend until very smooth.  Taste, season with black pepper, taste again.  Add broccoli to hot, drained pasta.  Add blended sauce and stir only until incorporated and hot.  Serve directly from the hot pot!  

Mix remaining shredded cheese with crushed crackers.  Sprinkle this on top.


Hearty Hunter Style Mac & Cheese Remix
Preheat oven to 350*
(ReMixed Hearty Hunter Style Mac & Cheese has 260 calories and less than 7 grams of fat.)

3 Cups fat free cottage cheese
1 cup pasta water – right, hot water that the pasta was cooked in
8 ounces really good Swiss cheese, shredded
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
A little bit of olive oil for sautéing
1 yellow onion, peeled, and sliced thin
3 bulbs of garlic, minced
1 small red bell pepper or a about five "mini sweets" peppers, sliced
½ pound mushrooms (your choice of type, I used Baby Bella), washed, dried, sliced thin
1 bag fresh baby spinach leaves, washed and spun or patted dry
1 pound macaroni – your choice of shape, cook, drain, return to pot
12 Triscuit crackers, crushed by hand into very small pieces – or your favorite brand


Place cottage cheese and pasta water in blender and blend until very smooth.  Add ¾ of the cheese and blend until very smooth.  Taste, season with black pepper, taste again.  Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onions and sauté until they begin to turn a little brown.  Add the garlic and peppers and continue until peppers are wilted.  Add the mushrooms and cook until they start to turn golden brown.  Add this sautéed mixture to the cooked, drained pasta (in the pasta pot).  Stir to incorporate, add the spinach and stir.  Add the creamy cheese sauce and stir only until incorporated and hot.  Serve directly from the hot pot!  

Mix remaining shredded cheese with crushed crackers.  Sprinkle this on top


Palm Beach Sunday Brunch Smoked Salmon Mac & Cheese         

Preheat oven to 350*
(ReMixed Palm Beach Sunday Brunch Smoked Salmon Mac & Cheese has 280 calories and less than 7 grams of fat.)

2 – 8 ounce packages of Neufchatel (low fat cream cheese) room temperature
2 cup skim milk
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 red bell pepper, dices, fine
8 ounces smoked salmon, sliced, then cut into small pieces
1 – 10 ounce bag baby arugula
¼ cup red onion, diced fine
3 Scallions, sliced thin
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
Fresh ground black pepper
1 pound macaroni – your choice of shape, cook, drain, return to pot
12 Triscuit crackers, crushed by hand into very small pieces– or your favorite brand (crushes bagel bits ?)
   

Place cream cheese and skim milk in blender and blend until very smooth.  Add 1/2 of the diced red pepper and blend until very smooth.  Taste, season with black pepper, taste again.  Add remaining red pepper, salmon, arugula, scallions and dill to hot, drained pasta.  Add blended sauce and stir only until incorporated and hot.  Serve directly from the hot pot!  

Mix remaining shredded cheese with crushed crackers.  Sprinkle this on top

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