Low Fat Mac

Every kid loves mac n cheese. Even as an adult, its hard to resist the carby, gooey, cheesy goodness. Of course, as an adult, I’ve now expanded my mac n cheese horizons with stewed tomatoes, tuna fish, various vegetables, different cheeses, or splurges like Valanni’s crab and lobster macaroni and cheese.

Its pretty difficult to find a mac n cheese that gives you all the bang for your calorie buck. When I’m really jonesing for it, I go with Fiber Gourmet’s Light Mac-mmm-Cheese.

Have you ever had the shells? The white cheddar? The shapes and cartoon characters? Blue cheese? Whats your favorite mac n’ cheese? Are you a Velveeta person or Kraft? Have you tried any flavors by Betty Crocker, like pizza or grilled cheese? Have you ever had mac and cheese pizza? What about mac n cheese  burger? How do you make your mac? 

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Macaroni and cheese is such a staple food in America, we are literally surrounded by it! The guys at Barry’s house go through it like its water and they frequently visit a local restaurant that only makes mac n cheese!

I’ve been on a mission to create a mac and cheese recipe, but upon googling, I found so many different ways to make it! Cottage cheese, evaporated milk, cream, half and half, mustard, bread crumbs, bake, stove top, types of cheese, sour cream, cream cheese…. I mean, how does one choose?

I was sent this low fat recipe and could not wait the try it!  (but we will get there in a second)…

I still remember how cool I thought EZ-Mac was when it first came out when I as a kid!

So, this comfort food-filled week was packed with meatloaf, garlic mashed potatoes, guiltless ice cream, and now, to wrap it up… can you guess?

This morning began in a dark room. Its 930am, why is it so dark in here? Holy smokes, its raining its butt off! It rained for hours, non stop this morning! To pass the time, I whipped up coffee and breakfast for the guys and me. I wanted to use the Fakin Bacon tempeh before it went bad, and thought, bacon is a breakfast food… this could work…

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I chopped up tomato, mushrooms, and onion, as well as the Fakin Bacon tempeh and whipped up and an omelette with swiss for Frank, and mozzarella for me. It was great with some hot sauce on top!

I decided to be a nice big sister, and Dom, my youngest brother, seemed super excited about the idea of a big breakfast sandwich! I threw some ham lunch meat and veggies in the skillet and served it up with cheddar on toast!

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Since it was pouring, I sat at the kitchen table and studied away. I guess I’ve been studying hard because I killed a highlighter. (Yay, for dad who sells them… I’ll never need office supplies).

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After a bunch of studying, my brain needed a break! After about an hour of serious procrastination on the computer, I needed to get out of this house! Thank God it stopped raining and I went for a quick 1 mile jog to clear my head and then resumed studying.

Dad came over after work and helped whip together our take on the recipe for tonight’s dinner:

Basic Fat-less MacWP_003290

serves 8

  • 3/4 cup(s) milk, fat-free evaporated
  • 1 cup Lactaid cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup fat free ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup fat free shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1//8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp reduced fat grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 12oz box Ronzoni Smart Taste elbows,cooked
  • 1 8oz Macaroni Tofu Shirataki Noodles *

WP_003291Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat the evaporated milk in a saucepan over low heat. Add the cheeses until they melt, stirring constantly. Stir in the nutmeg, pepper, and salt. Remove the cheese sauce from the heat. Add the cooked pasta to the cheese sauce and mix well.

Pour the mixture into a 2-quart casserole dish that has been sprayed with non stick cooking spray. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake the casserole for 15 minutes until the top is browned.

Top with what ever you’d like~ tomatoes, tuna, peas, more cheese, mustard (Barry puts ketchup on his, I don’t get it, but then again, I have some odd taste buds, too)!

*Since the recipe called for 1 lb of pasta, and the box only comes in 12oz, I improvised with the low cal, low carb option.

I decided to kick things up and made a toppings bar: WP_003293

  • diced tomatoes
  • sauteed bell pepper
  • sauteed onions
  • Morning Star ground soy crumbles, or ground beef, seasoned with taco seasoning
  • can of tuna fish seasoned with old bay
  • steamed green peas

Wow! I was so paranoid about the outcome of this dish! There are just so many different seasoning and ingredients, I did not know what I should season this with! The above recipe is a perfect mac and cheese for the simple soul and the best to dress up! Its not an abundantly creamy like a Kraft mac, but I loved the homemade taste and consistency!

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I topped mine with a bit of everything, except the crumbles ( I saved that for the men). The veggies the bowl so colorful and added so much flavor!

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To make this recipe even more meaningful to me, my mom informed me that Macaroni and Cheese was one of my grandpop’s favorite dishes! Today marks 8 years ago that he passed away. This is for you, poppop! I hope you would have liked this dish as much as we did!  We miss you and we love you!

Playing Catch Up

Like I said, I have not blogged in quite awhile. In fact, my dad text me the other night with the following:

“U havent blogged in ten days?? wtf”

Time to play a little catchup on the last week or so.

Two Saturdays ago, I met up with friends from highschool for a Class of 2009 Bar Crawl. It wasn’t ecxactly your typical bar crawl, as it was a few friends that had a drink at 3 different places on Main Street, Newark. It was a nice way for me to introduce Barry to a few freinds from highschool, as well as reunite with a really old friend from high school, Audrey!

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The following day, the city of Newark had its Memorial Day Parade. It was a rather cool, rainy and dreary day, but Barry, as well as his housemate and a good friend from nursing school, were in it.

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This year was the 60th Anniversary of the Korean War. I loved seeing all the vets, smiling with so much pride! Being there was also special for me because my grandfather is a Korean War Veteran. The VA Hospital in Wilmington has a long term care facility, where  I did my clinical rotation my very first  semester of nursing school. They brought some of the residents to be in the parade. It was great to see them still getting around and smiling!

WP_002406Handsome fella, ain’t he??

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The following Tuesday was a gloomy day. Another binge and purge occurred and I was in a ball the remainder of the day. It seemed that I could not move or get myself out of this funk. Ironically, later in the day, once I got up, I had a small bowl of carb smart ice cream and felt a bit better. Chocolate has amazing powers!

I had no choice but to improve my mood the following day: Graduation Day!

After all of my hard work, craziness, eating disorder, endless hours of studying… it was here! I’m graduating! I dressed in a white sun dress and wedges, and completed the ensable with a green cap and gown, a gold stole and white rope to indicate my officer position in Phi Theta Kappa and and graduating cum laude!

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Mom, Dad, Frank, and Barry were there, as were my two brothers, my neighbor, my Aunt Carol and, godfather, Uncle Bert, Aunt Chrissy and my two little cousins, my godmother, Aunt Cathy, and my Grandmother. I had to requests when graduating: to have something of my grandmother and grandfather with me on stage as I graduate. It was fate, as my grandmothers wedding band fit perfectly on my finger. My grandmother brought with her a few items of my grandfathers to choose from. Once I chose one of his pendants to wear, my grandmother told me I could keep all of the momentums!

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The family surprised me with beautiful flowers. Barry even did  really well! MY favorite color is pink and my favorite flower is a lily. Pink lilies and roses! Score!

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After a nice and brief ceremony, we headed out to Grottos to meet up with some friends. The table split a chicken cheese steak which I loved), and a veggie calzone! No worrying tonight!

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I am a Graduate Nurse!!!