Everybody likes macaroni and cheese, but the stuff from the box isn't always the best when it comes to nutrition. Here's a way to take a family favorite and make it not only healthier, but more fun too -- macaroni and cheese muffins.
This recipe from Emily Bites starts with whole wheat pasta, and even gets in some spinach. The "muffins" are the perfect way to get picky eaters to consume a vegetable, and they're delicious too. They make a great side dish or even a vegetarian main course with a salad and bread. You can reduce the fat even further by using light cheese.
Mac & Cheese Muffins
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup skim milk
1 garlic clove, minced
3 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
3 oz Gruyere cheese, shredded
1 egg white
4 cups cooked whole wheat or high fiber macaroni
1 (10-oz) package of frozen chopped spinach, defrosted, drained, and patted dry (or you could use 1 cup cooked fresh spinach)
Salt & pepper to taste
Pre-heat the oven to 400. Lightly mist a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.
In a small sauce pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour, mixing it into the butter until thick. Stir in the milk and garlic and raise the temp to bring the mixture to just under a boil. Add the cheese and whisk mixture together until thoroughly combined into a cheese sauce.
Remove the cheese sauce from heat and then mix in the egg and egg white (binding agents) until combined.
In a large bowl, combine the pasta, spinach, cheese sauce, salt, and pepper and mix together. Spoon the mixture evenly into the cups of your prepared muffin tin.
Bake for 10-15 minutes until the tops slightly brown. Let cool 5 minutes before removing from muffin tin.
Image via Emily Bites