My Favourite Pasta, Healthified
Happy Waffle Wednesday!!
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?
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!
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!
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!
I am however still a cheapskate. I left out the brussel sprouts for a much cheaper bag of frozen cauliflower and broccoli.
To me, mac n cheese is all about the elbow macaroni. I went for the whole wheat variety as I like the grainy texture.
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.
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.
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.
Poured over top the mix and sprinkled with, no, not breadcrumbs or more cheese.
Nutritional yeast flakes! It has a very cheesy taste and is one of the richest vegetarian sources of B vitamins.
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!**