My daughter loves noodles and cheese. So to whoever invented mac and cheese, thank you.
Most recipes for mac and cheese are high in sodium or calories, unfortunately. There are a number of lighter/healthier options out there: one suggestion is to use butternut squash boiled in milk until soft to replace some of the cheese. Also, substituting lower-fat cheeses is recommended.
I came across something different though when parents.com sent me their weekly recipes newsletter: mac and cheese soup! What a great idea. It’s a new take on the traditional comfort food, without taking away that deliciously creamy, cheesy flavor that (most) kids like. Looking at the recipes, they’re not that hard to create, either. And you still get to hide bits of vegetables in the sauce to up its health factor.
Start with a base of the triumvirate of onion, carrots, and celery, sauteed in oil or butter; then add flour once softened.
At this point most recipes call for adding the broth to deglaze, while some recommend wine for an additional flavor. Suggested spices include nutmeg, cayenne, and dry mustard powder.
The milk and cheeses go in, followed by the cooked pasta shells.
That’s about it; just wait until everything cooks and the soup is smooth and creamy. One recipe calls for adding blue cheese and chives, another parmesan. Add in a bag of chopped broccoli, cauliflower, and/or carrots (to help your kids – and you – get their daily serving of veggies); or for a more grown-up take, garnish with crisp breadcrumbs toasted with butter and parsley, or oven-roasted tomatoes on a slice of baguette.
List of recipes: