Hey guys! I sit here typing this post with a sun burn and the dazed look of someone who has not slept much in the past few days. The insomnia is a natural occurrence, I suppose. A mix of sadness and stress will do it to ya. The sunburn? Well that’s from laying out at the pool all day celebrating my best friend’s 25th birthday. If there’s one thing that can make a person step outside of her shell, even for a little bit, it’s good company (oh, and a flotation device).
The pool was actually inside of a spa — my first time going. I could, and probably will, write an entire post on my opinion on spas, but I’ll save that for another time when my eyes are fully open and the sun hasn’t melted my brain into mush. All I can say is this — going to a spa? Prepare to lose your money ($40 entrance fee, food prices like Disneyland and massage services ringing in at $150 a pop), lose your modesty (hello all day in a bathing suit!), gain some self-esteem (hello grandma in a bathing suit! rock it!), and have some long-due r&r. Have any of you been to a spa? What do you do there?
Now, on to the real point of this post…Prepare for the Macaroni and Cheese Showdown!
As you guys know my boyf and I are on different food planets. I live on my side of the healthy food orbit and he lives on the everything in moderation, anything goes, side. Well the stars aligned and he made a special trip to my side, bearing a truce in his hands that was a recipe for a healthier version of his favorite food, macaroni and cheese, so that we might actually *gasp* share a meal together. Can I cue the “aww”s because, truly, it means so much to me that he came up with this on his own accord and it freakin’ rocked my socks off (p.s. what does “rock my socks off” really mean?).
Out of this World Mac ‘N’ Cheese
- 1 tbsp coconut oil = 120 calories, 14 g fat, 0 g fiber, 0 g protein
- 1/4 cup shallots =29 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g fiber, 1 g protein
- 3 cloves garlic = 13 calories, 0 g fat, 0.2 g fiber, 0.6 g protein
- 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour = 200, 1 g fat, 6 g fiber, 8 g protein
- 1 cup coconut milk = 80 calories, 5 g fat, 0 g fiber, 1 g protein
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp dry mustard
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 8 oz dry whole wheat elbow macaroni (1/2 the bag from Whole Foods) = 800 calories, 4 g fat, 20 g fiber, 28 g protein
- 1-3/4 cups fat-free cheddar cheese = 315 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g fiber, 63 g protein
- 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese = 200 calories, 4 g fat, 0 g fiber, 30 g protein
- Total nutritional information: 1757 calories, 28 g fat, 26.2 g fiber, 68.6 g protein
- Per 1/8 serving = 219.63 calories, 3.5 g fat, 3.28 g fiber, 8.58 g protein
- In a medium sized pot, bring lightly salted water to boil.
- Chop onion and garlic.
- Preheat oven 400 F.
- Add macaroni to boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes.
- Pour coconut oil in pan on medium heat and sauté onion and garlic 2 minutes. Add sugar to caramelize if you wish.
- Into the onion mixture, stir in flour constantly for 1 minute. Then, stir in milk, salt, dry mustard, and pepper til mixture thickens and boils.
- Drain and pour al dente macaroni in 2 quart baking dish.
- Add all the cheese to the boiling mixture slowly til it thickens to a cheese sauce.
- Pour cheese sauce over macaroni andplace in the oven for 25 min.
- Broil an extra 5 minutes to achieve crusted top
This mac ‘n’ cheese truly tasted amazing. It was rich and creamy and just plain scrumptious. If I weren’t so tired, I would write it a sonnet with a rhyming couplet just to testify to its yum factor.
Note: I posted the recipe as we made it, but I would suggest using less flour and less cheese if you would like to adjust the calorie content a bit. I have also been forced politely asked to disclose that the boyfriend would prefer his own version of full-fledged fatty mac and cheese any day to this version that he concocted on my behalf. Boys. Boys and their “blah blah health food is for wimps” mentality.
Coconut Oil: Did you know that coconut oil is actually a very healthy alternative to most other cooking oils? Apparently it contains medium chain fatty acids that are more easily assimilated by the body so that the fat actually fuels the metabolism instead of being stored by the body. After I read enough about it, I wanted to start chugging a bottle of coconut oil, but figured I better not. Read about the the health benefits of coconut oil here (the most reliable source, Wikipedia, duh!).
Compare the Boyf’s Mac ‘N’ Cheese to Other Options
- Trader Joe’s Organic Shells and White Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese (1 cup) — 280 calories, 3.5 g fat, 2, 10 g protein (and not made with whole-wheat or coconut oil, boo!)
- Swanson’s Frozen Macaroni & Cheese Meal (10.3 ounces) – 450 calories, 17 g fat, 3 g fiber, 13 g protein (not made with whole-wheat or quality ingredients, plus full of preservatives, chemicals, and who knows what else!)
Are you guys big mac ‘n’ cheese fans? Heard of the benefits of coconut oil (am I the last to know?!)?
<3, The Cranky One