Lighten Up: Mac and Cheese

Less fat, more flavor

If you’re looking to lighten up that classic mac and cheese recipe, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s how to dial down the calories and turn up nutrition. Start with a whole-grain pasta.

Gluten-free quinoa pasta has double the fiber and half the sugar of run-of-the-mill white processed pasta, plus iron and important B vitamins. Besides cashing in on more nutrients, quinoa pasta is light in color, so even kids won’t notice the swap. Cook it according to the package instructions.

Now for the cheese mixture.

  1. Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. When the oil is hot, add 2 garlic cloves that have been minced and cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring often until the garlic is golden. Garlic boosts the flavor and helps compensate for having less cheese.
  3. Add a half-teaspoon of garlic salt, a quarter-teaspoon of turmeric, and an eighth-teaspoon of pepper, and cook to bring out their flavors.
  4. Whisk in 1 cup of skim milk, 1-1/2 cups grated cheddar and 1/2 cup butternut squash puree. Squash boosts the vitamin A content of this recipe and makes it thick and creamy without having to add white flour.
  5. Mix until smooth and the cheese is melted. Stir in the pasta and serve immediately.

Now you can enjoy the “mac daddy” of mac and cheese recipes—delicious and nutritious.

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