Tangy Mac’n Cheese

Mac’n cheese: the ultimate comfort food. Typically, it’s absolutely delicious but not so nutritious. Lucky for you, this recipe happens to be both delicious and nutritious. How? Subbing greek yogurt for butter and cream saves tons of unnecessary fat and calories, so now you can enjoy mac’n cheese without feeling guilty about it!  This recipe also happens to be quicker and easier than most. It’s a little more difficult than the stuff from the box, but much better! This is great served with roasted broccoli, too!

 

Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. elbow macaroni
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 3/4 cup cheese of choice (I like reduced-fat sharp cheddar)
  • 1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs, for topping

Directions

  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions and drain.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  3. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
  4. Whisk in the flour to form a roux, constantly stirring for about 1 minute. Add the milk slowly and contine to constantly stir.
  5. When the sauce is smooth whisk in the salt, pepper, and 3/4 cups of cheese.
  6. Remove this mixture from heat and allow to cool slightly, then whisk in the Greek yogurt.
  7. Next add the pasta and an additional 1/2 cup of cheese and stir well to combine.
  8. Pour into a greased baking dish and top with remaining cheese and breadcrumbs.
  9. Bake for 10 mintues, until the cheese is melted. Yum!

Nutrition Information

  • Calories: 250
  • Fat: 12g
  • Sodium: 600mg
  • Potassium: 40mg
  • Carbohydrates: 19g
  • Sugar: 2g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 14g

*Recipe adapted from A Dash of Soul, at http://adashofsoul.com/2014/04/08/greek-yogurt-macaroni-cheese/.

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Veggie Spiral

An impressive yet simple side that will impress your friends and family. Bring to a potluck or prepare for an elegant dinner, this is easy and delicious! Plus it’s fun to make. Who doesn’t like making art with food? So bring out your creative side and make this wonderful masterpiece!

 

Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 small russet potatoes, unpeeled, sliced in rounds
  • 1 zucchini, sliced in rounds
  • 1 yellow squash, sliced in rounds
  • 3 large Roma tomatoes, sliced in rounds
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • Dried thyme, to taste
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp. of the oil in a skillet. Add the onions and sauté for about 8 minutes, until translucent.
  3. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute.
  4. Spread the onions and garlic in an even layer into the bottom of a greased, round baking dish.
  5. Alternating vegetables, layer them in a spiral in the dish.
  6. Sprinkle the seasonings and drizzle the remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil over the top.
  7. Cover the dish with foil and bake for about 35 minutes.
  8. Uncover the dish, sprinkle with Parmesan, and bake for 25-30 more minutes, until browned. Voilà!

Nutriton Information

  • Calories: 105
  • Fat: 5g
  • Sodium: 390mg
  • Potassium: 415mg
  • Carbohydrates: 12g
  • Sugar: 3g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 3g

*Recipe adapted from For the Love of Cooking, at http://www.fortheloveofcooking.net/2009/02/vegetable-tian.html.

Mexican Quinoa

If you need a quick, Mexican-inspired, delicious meal, this is the one! Flavorful and filling, you won’t go wrong with this dish. I’m a huge fan of Mexican food, and even though you wouldn’t find this at a restaurant, it will satisfy your craving! This dish also happens to be sitting in my favorite bowl. It’s polish pottery and it’s got flowers on it, and anyways it’s lovely. This meal deserves to be on nice dishes!! Enjoy 🙂

Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 1 pkg quinoa/brown rice blend (like NearEast red pepper and basil)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 15oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 15oz can black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 15oz can corn (drained)
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 avacado, peeled and diced
  • Juice of 1 lime

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet or pot on medim heat. Add jalapeño and sauté for about a minute.
  2. Add remaining ingredients except for the lime juice and avacado and bring to a boil.
  3. Next, cover, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for about 20 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.
  4. Then, add the avacado and lime and serve!

Nutriton Information

  • Calories: 405
  • Fat: 12g
  • Carbohydrates: 60g
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Fiber: 10g
  • Protein: 13g

*Recipe adapted from Damn Delicious, at http://damndelicious.net/2014/04/09/one-pan-mexican-quinoa/.

The Spaghetti Bolognese 

There’s a reason this is the Spaghetti Bolognese.  If you’ve never had it, the time is now. Ironically, this Italian takes me back to Deutschland. You could find this dish at any restaurant in Germany, Italian or not. There’s just something comforting about it that fills you up with a warm, somehow creamy goodness. As the Italians would says, this spaghetti is Delicioso!

Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 med. onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1lb ground chuck beef
  • 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
  • Red wine, to taste (optional)
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
  • Fresh or dried basil, to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
  • 1lb spaghetti, cooked according to package directions

Directions 

  1. Heat oil in skillet. Add the garlic and onions and sauté at medium-heat for about 8 minutes, until the onions are soft.
  2. Add the celery and carrots and sauté for 5 more minutes.
  3. Raise the heat to high and add the beef, cooking it until it is no longer pink. Drain some of the fat and add a splash of red wine, if desired.
  4. Reduce the heat to low and add the tomatoes, parsley, and basil. Simmer for about 30 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken.
  5. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle in the cheese. 
  6. Stir in the spaghetti and you’re done. Delicioso!

Nutrition Information

  • Calories: 388
  • Fat: 17g
  • Carbohydrates: 43g 
  • Sugar: 3g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 18g

*Recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis. Here’s the link: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/simple-bolognese-recipe2.html