Have you ever wished that Mac N’ Cheese could be a part of your healthy eating life? Well, today we have some great news for you!
PFC’s Chef Jason has created a healthier version of the crowd favorite dish, and we’re sharing it with you here!
What makes this a healthier option? By making a few simple swaps we’ve removed some of the fat, increased the protein, reduced the carbs, but kept it rich and flavorful. One of the biggest changes in the ingredient list you’ll notice is a head of cauliflower. When you steam and blend cauliflower, it makes a great swap for heavy cream that most Mac N’ Cheese recipes call for.
The second swap you may notice is the Banza Pasta. We swapped out a traditional white flour pasta for a Banza pasta, which is made primarily from garbanzo beans. This increases the protein and fiber content while reducing the carbohydrates. There are plenty of pasta alternatives nowadays that you can find right at your local grocery store. We like Banza because the ingredient list is small, and when we look at the numbers compared to your traditional pasta, the protein is double, the fiber is double, and the carbohydrates are almost half! Why is this important? This will help you feel fuller and more satisfied after eating this meal for a longer amount of time. You will be less likely to overeat with a higher protein and fiber content. The carbohydrate amount will be enough for your body to use as energy, but not too much where your body starts to store it as fat.
One other difference you may notice is the serving size. Traditionally in a restaurant, or in our homes, we are served a big heaping bowl of pasta. This could end up being 3-4 servings of pasta, and triple the number of calories we would want to consume at one meal. We’ve split this recipe up into 1/2 cup serving sizes to fit into a perfectly balanced meal. Try pairing this Mac N’ Cheese recipe with a green salad and a portion of grilled chicken or protein option of your choice.
Healthy Mac & Cheese Recipe:
-1 small head of cauliflower (approximately 1 Cup pureed)
-1 8oz. box of pasta (chef used banza shell noodles, but macaroni noodles add a touch of nostalgia!)
-1 strip lean, uncured bacon
-1/3 C chopped white onions
-1 tsp diced garlic
-1/3 C white wine
-1 C 2% milk
-salt & pepper to taste
-1 tsp nutmeg (grated)
-2 Tbsp Chef Spice *optional
-1 pinch Sea Salt, to taste
-1/4 C grated parmesan cheese
-1/2 C grated cheddar cheese
-1 Tbsp Coconut Butter
1. Steam the cauliflower until soft. Put cauliflower plus the steam water into a food processor or blender and purée until creamy.
2. Pour pasta into a pot with water. Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 8-10 min or until pasta is cooked. Drain water out of the pasta. Set aside.
3. Cook your bacon until crispy. Chop bacon into pieces, then add back to pan. Add your chopped onions and garlic to the bacon pan and sauté all together. Add the white wine and stir. Sauté until onions are clear.
4. In a bowl, add 2 C cauliflower puree, milk, coconut butter, and your spices. Stir to combine. Add the pan mixture and the cheese. Stir until well combined and cheese melts in. Mix in the drained noodles until covered with sauce. Serve it up!
Per 1/2 cup serving:
• Calories 260
• Fat 8g
• Carbs 32g
• Protein 18g