Lean Mean Mac n’ Cheese

Oh my goodness I am soo excited about this mac n’ cheese!! I’ve been dying to find a guilt free delicious version of this childhood comfort food of mine. I’ve deprived myself of this indulgence for years but now I have found my remedy.

Just made this for the first time tonight and I inhaled it. I used a recipe from Clean Eating magazine and tweaked it to increase the protein and fiber content.

Yield: 6 servings     (about 1 cup mac n’ cheese + about 3 oz. chicken)

2 1/4 cups Fiber Wise elbow macaroni

cooking spray

1/4 cup whole wheat flour or other brown flour

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese, preferably Nancy’s

1/4 cup skim milk

1/4 cup plain fat-free yogurt

3 (1 oz. slices) Heavenly Light Swiss Cheese, torn into bits

5 oz. low-fat cheddar cheese, finely shredded

1 slice whole wheat bread, preferably Oroweat Double Fiber Bread, toasted & crumbled into fine crumbs

2 tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 1/4 lbs. skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

to taste salt & pepper

  1. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Rinse under cold water to stop cooking process.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat an 8-inch casserole dish with cooking spray.
  3. Combine cottage cheese, milk and yogurt in a food processor. Process until smooth; transfer to a medium bowl. Add flour and salt; whisk until smooth and well combined.
  4. Place a medium nonstick saucepan (use the same one you used for pasta) over medium heat; add flour mixture. When mixture is warm, add Swiss cheese; stir quickly and frequently with wooden spoon until cheese is completely melted and incorporated. Add cheddar cheese; continue stirring until cheese is completely melted and mixture begins to thicken. Stir in cooked macaroni, then transfer mixture to prepared casserole dish.
  5. Sprinkle 1 tbsp. of toasted bread crumbs evenly over top of casserole followed by Parmesan cheese. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until topping is lightly browned. Allow to stand 5 minutes.
  6. While casserole cooks, heat a medium nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with salt and pepper and place in skillet. Cook 4-6 minutes on each side or until browned and fully cooked. Remove from pan and cut into bite-sized pieces.  Top each casserole serving with about 3 oz. chicken.

based on recipe from Clean Eating magazine, May/June 2009

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