My Favourite Pasta, Healthified

Happy Waffle Wednesday!!

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I woke up this morning with waffles on the mind, but decided to wait until Wednesday to have them. Then I realized it is Wednesday! It’s like that episode of Seinfeld where Elaine needs sugar every afternoon in the office. My body wants waffles every Wednesday. And who am I to say no?

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Similar simple recipe as always:

  • 3 tbsp whole wheat flour
  • one scoop (30g) unflavoured soy protein powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 stevia packet (or the equivalent to 2 tsp sugar)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp egg whites
  • 1/3 cup almond milk

Topped with vanilla yogurt, blackberries, blueberries and homemade coconut chia granola. The berries were on sale this week. In January? I’ll take it!

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In honour of Waffle Wednesday, I dedicated a whole album to it on my Facebook page. Check it out if you need some topping ideas! There are freezer waffle variations in there as well.

It’s a slow week over here as I get back into the swing of things after being home for so long. On the bright side, it’s provided me with ample time to make dishes that I’ve had bookmarked forever!

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First up is Jessica’s Autumn Mac and Cheese.

I ended up completely bastardizing this recipe, but the inspiration was still there ;) It’s no secret that I’m not the biggest pasta fan. I just don’t like the taste or texture of slimy noodles. But one dish is the exemption: mac n cheese.

I was originally drawn to this recipe because of the addition of butternut squash. My favourite sweet squash sounded like the perfect addition to a cheesy mess!

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I am however still a cheapskate. I left out the brussel sprouts for a much cheaper bag of frozen cauliflower and broccoli.

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To me, mac n cheese is all about the elbow macaroni. I went for the whole wheat variety as I like the grainy texture.

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Rather than roast the squash, I just chopped it up and zapped it for five minutes. Apart from being a cheapskate, I’m also an impatient cook.

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Y’all know I’m a girl who likes her protein, so I added a pound of browned extra lean ground beef to the mix too.

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I did however follow Jessica’s directions for the roux. I know from experience that it’s the key to a creamy concoction! Just 1 tbsp butter, 1 tbsp flour, 2 cup milk whisked with the shredded cheddar cheese. I decreased the amount of cheese by almost half for the sake of my expanding waistline.

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Poured over top the mix and sprinkled with, no, not breadcrumbs or more cheese.

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Nutritional yeast flakes! It has a very cheesy taste and is one of the richest vegetarian sources of B vitamins.

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A Bastardized Mac n Cheese Recipe
(as inspired by How Sweet Eats)

  • 225g whole wheat macaroni (around 1 1/3 cups uncooked)
  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1/2 bag frozen broccoli & cauliflower (or whatever you like, really)
  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 2 cup milk (I use unsweetened almond milk)
  • 5 oz cheese (I used old cheddar)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes

Directions
Cook the noodles in water and brown the beef in a pan. Peel and chop the squash into 1 inch cubes and microwave lightly covered in a bowl for 5-6 minutes. Defrost the frozen veggies in the microwave as well.

In a small pan melt the butter and whisk in flour. Add milk, then slowly add the grated cheese one handful at a time, stirring constantly. Mix together noodles, meat and veggies and place in a 14×9 casserole dish. Pour milk mixture over top. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast and bake at 350F for 30 minutes.

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I got six meal-sized servings out of this which I also like to eat on top of cooked spinach. I lovelovelove the cheesy sauce with the butternut squash. I also appreciate how the squash adds volume but reduces the calories in a typically high-calorie dish.

In other news, my Simply Switches are still going strong!

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Thanks to citrus season, clementines have replaced my usual piece of chocolate for dessert. There is nothing wrong with a piece of chocolate, but I’ve replaced some of those empty calories with something a little more nutritious.

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Another new dessert I’m loving is crystallized ginger! Mind you, it still has cane sugar. But I love how the strong taste doesn’t leave my tastebuds craving anything else once a meal is complete.

I’ve also discovered that my homemade Maple Cinnamon Oat Bran Protein Bars fit perfectly in my little IKEA tupperware containers.

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It’s the little things ;)

 

Question of the Day: What is your favourite pasta dish? No surprise here, mine’s Kraft Dinner. Yes, the kind from the box with the powdered cheese.

 

**For anyone in the Toronto area, Morgan and I are hosting a blogger lunch in the city at noon on January 22. Vegan/vegetarian friendly. It’s my birthday weekend, so I promise there will be cake. E-mail Morgan at Morgan.Shuker@gmail.com to RSVP. Hope to see you there!**

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Posted on January 5, 2011, in Recipes, Waffle Wednesday and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 26 Comments.

  1. Your new layout looks really good! I really need to change mine, but I don’t even know where to begin.

    I love having extra time to cook and bake. Although one thing I hate is prepping for cooking by making lists and then grocery shopping for all the correct ingredients. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE grocery shopping…but not when I have a list.

  2. Love the looks of that “bastardized” mac–yum. When it comes to mac & cheese though, I grew up on Stouffer’s. So creamy, so delicious.

  3. I’m saving that waffle recipe- it looks great!!

  4. greensandjeans

    I’m not a big fan of pasta either, but my mom makes this spinach and ricotta lasagna that is pretty rockin

  5. I can’t wait to try your waffle recipe! I have been looking for a whole wheat waffle recipe with protein in it.

    My favorite pasta dish is definitely lasagna and not the healthy lasagna, the gooey, cheesy kind!

  6. The toppings on that waffle are so irresistable. Now I want a waffle for dinner!
    I should try adding butternut squash to mac and cheese. YUM!

  7. irresistible! I swear I know how to spell.

  8. oh i LOVE mixing nooch with grains and making it all cheeeezy! that mac n cheese sounds so amazing :) i think i might just have to make a bulgar mac n cheese tomorrow! hope you enjoyed waffle wednesday!

  9. Heh bastardized recipes are the best!!

    I don’t eat pasta much but I love cheesy pasta with broccoli and green peas.

  10. I love bow-tie pasta with roasted veggies! Those waffles look absolutely amazing! I can’t wait to try them! Happy Early Birthday!!

  11. my body craves fruit every night, yelp, i’m odd!

  12. Fave pasta dish..hmmm, anything you want to make for Scott. He loves it and clearly you’re a master. And I…am not. GF and never was into it. Sweets, not pasta, for me :)

  13. dude, the family that I’m a private chef for is dying for some homemade protein bars! I’m totally making it them (and I’ll sneak some for myself too!). I love gnocchi. i dont know if that counts….but I’m in love with it!

  14. waffle looks so good,..

  15. I used to LOVE Kraft Dinner! My hubby is disgusted by this fact, haha. Now I love Annie’s, but due to my dairy issues I have to stay away from it. SO sad. But I do have a couple of vegan recipes marked to try, it’s too good to NOT recreate!

    And I will definitely be seeing you on the 22nd!!

    xo

  16. Great looking recipe! Also, I love that you love crystallized ginger. My husband and I always have a stash of it at home. You don’t need much to be satisfied!

  17. LOL! I love how you say your bastardized the recipe. It looks great! I also don’t love pasta that much. But mac and cheese always wins!

  18. My favorite pasta dish is lasagna. No added veggies. All meat and cheese! :) My second favorite is a chorizo pasta recipe, it’s on my blog. Also not healthy but oh so good.

  19. I love clementines! I actually have to hold back a little when it comes to fruit, because I could eat countless amounts of it, lol.

    Mmm, pasta! My favourites include my brother’s lasagna, bacon ravioli and my brother’s macaroni with either tuna salsa or chicken+peanuts salsa. Yum! I have a feeling I would absolutely love mac and cheese (as I adore cheese), but I have actually never tried it. :)

  20. I’ve wanted to try that for ages now! I think maybe I’ll make a hybrid of both yours and hers. And THEN what will you call it? haha
    Looks delicious! :)

  21. I really like your waffles recipe. It’s simple, quick, and healthy too.

  22. Love the name of the Mac ‘n’ Cheese! Haha!

  23. I love how you made this tour own! Makes me want Mac n cheese like a mad woman.

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